Empowering Students and Igniting Inspiration: A SMART Hackathon Event

A SMART Customer story with C. Hunter Ritchie Elementary School

Teacher and School

Julie Kuzma, Hunter Ritchie Elementary School, Warrenton, VA

Key Challenge

Leverage the power and potential of the SMART solution to create engaging and interactive lessons.

SMART Solution

SMART Board 6000 Ⓡ series
SMART Learning Suite (SMART lab™ and SMART Notebook Ⓡ.)


Teachers who attended the event learned how to enhance their classroom learning, engage their students, meet the needs of each student in the classroom and offer differentiated instruction.
“My student just met her year - long IEP goal! She had a hard time using index cards in our previous exercise, but she did it in record time using SMART lab!”

Motivation: Increase Effective SMART Solution Usage

Through effective professional development (PD), teachers can realize how they can empower students and ignite inspiration. Collaborating with Instructional Technology Resource Teacher Ms. Julie Kuzma, SMART constructed a “Re-Igniting Inspiration” hackatho event that would empower students and teachers at C. Hunter Ritchie (CHR) elementary school to effectively utilize their SMART solution.


CHR chose to partner with SMART’s Efficacy and Implementation Team to provide its educators with PD focused on how they could leverage the integration of SMART into their Instructional Framework 2.0, developed by Fauquier County Public Schools. The SMART hackathon event was designed to meet the following CHR goals and objectives.

  • Develop lessons aligned to district instructional goals and objectives to:
    • Enhance classroom learning.
    • Increase student achievement.
  • Create engaging and interactive lessons to:
    • Amplify content through gamification.
    • Meet the needs of all learners.
  • Assess student knowledge in real-time to:
    • Determine student intervention needs.
    • Deliver differentiated instruction.

Hackathon Details:

Attendees were trained using both SMART hardware and software. They applied what they learned to create SMART lesson content.

  • Student Workshop
    • Day 1: Students received 5 minutes of “How-To” instructionand then created 3-5 lessons using SMART lab™, incorporating classroom content.
    • Day 2: Students made final adjustments to their SMART lab activities and then participated in gamified lessons created by their peers.
  • Teacher Workshop
    • Part I: Teachers received instruction on the SMART Learning Suite (SLS) and learned how to effectively enhance classroom lessons.
    • Part II: Teachers created SMART content that they could immediately integrate into an upcoming lesson. Teachers worked together to assist one another creating engaging lessons.


Nine teachers and 54 students participated in the “Re-Igniting Inspiration Hackathon Event”.As stated by Julie Kuzma, Instructional Technology Resource Teacher, “ The last two days were amazing. All of the adults involved loved it. The kids had a blast. ”

Workshop survey results: 

  • 100% of attendees felt the workshop exceeded their expectations.
  • 100% of attendees are looking forward to integrating a SMART solution into their classroom.
  • 100% of attendees are excited to see how their SMART solution will make a positive difference in their students’ learning engagement.

Next Steps:

Based on the success of the PD and “Hackathon” event, Mrs. Kuzma and her teachers are looking forward to using SMART Notebook® features to build new and exciting lessons for the remainder of the current school year leading into the 2017-2018 school year.

To find out how you can host a similar hackathon event with SMART at your school, please visit: smarttech.com/hackathon

Download the PDF

Posted: April 18, 2018
in Outcome Studies