Hack Days as a Method to Increase Interdisciplinary Knowledge and Collaboration Skills of College Students in STEM Fields


  • James Tandon California State University East Bay
  • Nazzy Pakpour California State University East Bay
  • Mario Gumina


active learning, cooperative learning, hackathon, hack, biology, diseases, technology, engineering, drones, interdisciplinary


Providing college students with learning experiences that account for the interdisciplinary nature of most STEM professions has proven challenging. STEM educational practices typically follow a more scripted process designed to build important foundational skills. In contrast, most STEM professions are interdisciplinary and collaborative in nature. Thus, a gap in experience is created that needs to be addressed if we desire our students to be successful. One potential solution is to hold extra-curricular events, such as a hack day, to provide students with collaborative interdisciplinary learning experiences. We held two such hack day events and found that these events were a highly effective at increasing both the interest and interdisciplinary knowledge of undergraduates.


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Author Biographies

James Tandon, California State University East Bay

NAZZY PAKPOUR, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at California State University East Bay, United States. Her research interests are broadly focused on the impact of nutrition and type 2 diabetes on the transmission of malaria by mosquitoes. She also runs the CSU East Bay traveling insect petting zoo and is one of the founders of the annual CSU East Bay Hack Day.

Email: nazzy.pakpour@csueastbay.edu

Nazzy Pakpour, California State University East Bay

MARIO GUMINA, MS, graduated from the Biology Department at California State University East Bay, United States in 2017. He is currently attending Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, an Osteopathic Medical school, and expects to receive his degree in 2022. Email: mgumina@kansascity.edu

Mario Gumina

JAMES TANDON, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Engineering Department at California State University East Bay. His research interests are focused on VLSI circuit design, FPGA architecture and timing, stochastic data converters, power-performance optimization, embedded systems design, drone control systems, telerobotic control, and real time system design. He is one of the founders of the annual CSU East Bay Hack Day. Email: james.tandon@csueastbay.edu


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How to Cite

Tandon, J., Pakpour, N., & Gumina, M. (2021). Hack Days as a Method to Increase Interdisciplinary Knowledge and Collaboration Skills of College Students in STEM Fields. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education, 10(2), 81–92. Retrieved from https://ojed.org/index.php/jise/article/view/2814