The 2-day hackathon for young hackers is back October 2023.

HackManchester Junior is an event for 11-18s to develop coding skills and have fun.

In just two days, teams of up to four take on challenges set by companies and organisations. We provide the space, technology and mentors to help channel their creative energy into a reality.

Our talented and friendly mentors, judges and sponsors come from local companies showing the engineers of the future a glimpse of where their future career might take them.

Check X and Instagram for updates.

Live stream
Saturday 28th October Sunday 29th October 2023
Bright Building, Manchester Science Park, Pencroft Way, Manchester, M15 6GZ
Sponsored by
Sponsor this event

All our events are funded by sponsorship from amazing supporters and partners.  Previous sponsors include Auto Trader, GCHQ, Clockwork SMS, Manchester Science Partnerships, Microsoft, Google Cloud Platform, Unreal Engine, and many more. Reasons to sponsor HackManchester Junior:

  • Show the engineers of the future a glimpse of where their future career might take them
  • Brand awareness - reach hundreds at the event and through our social networks 
  • Sharing a product or service with young minds - we guarantee you’ll be surprised by how our attendees use it!
  • Engage with the community
  • Helping achieve company Corporate Social Responsibility objectives
  • Meet future talent; identifying skills & potential that can’t be seen on a CV

View the brochure
Mentor or volunteer

Mentors and volunteers make HackManchester possible. If you'd like to join us this year, please let us know.

I want to mentor/volunteer

Making a difference is just a click away! As a not-for-profit organisation, we depend on individuals like you to support our vital work with young people striving for a brighter future.

Frequently asked questions

What is a hackathon?

To sum it up, at a hackathon, people come together and use technology to transform ideas into reality. “The word hackathon is a portmanteau of the words hack and marathon, where hack is used in the sense of playful, exploratory programming, not its alternate meaning as a reference to computer crime.”

Who should attend?

Those who want to develop their coding skills and problem solving skills further.

If you’re wanting to learn how to code before and outside of the hackathon, there’s loads of fantastic free online resources or free code clubs you can join. 

Check these out and start tinkering today:

Attend this event ➡️

What do I bring?

Please bring a laptop, power cables, converters etc. We will provide a place to plug in and WIFI connectivity. 

As it’s the rebooter event we are unable to loan out laptops like we used to. We are working with sponsors to be able to build a pool of laptops for our event in 2024.

We will only be providing lunch for the Young Coders.

Parents and guardians, feel free to pack snacks and a light lunch for yourselves there will be tea and coffee to keep the energy flowing. 

You are welcome to bring your own snacks (not hot food) if you have special dietary requirements.

How do I form or join a team?

We do encourage participants to start forming teams before the event. You’ll meet people when you get there. Everybody’s very friendly. A lot of people go to hackathons without teams. So it’s perfectly normal to go around to people, tell them you’re looking for a team, and ask if you can help out. We will also form competitors into teams after the intro presentations on day one, if you have not yet found a team.

Use the #HackMCRJNR on social media to link up with others in advance.

Team size is 4 maximum.

What is the schedule?

We have Nathan Rae returning to interview the teams during the two days and live stream the event so your parents and friends can watch from home. These clips will be uploaded to our YouTube channel after the event so you can watch what all the other teams created and show your friends what you achieved.


10:00 - 10:30 - Arrival, registration and mingle

10:30 - Intro Presentations - introducing the challenges and the mentors

10:45 - Hacking begins

12:30 - Lunch is served

15:00 - Door close for day one


10:00 - Doors open for day two

12:30 - Lunch is served

14:45 - Keyboards down / coding ends

14:45 - 15:00 - Judges make their final decisions

15:00 - 15:30 - Prizes are awarded / awards show begins

15:30 - 16:00 - Event ends

Do you provide travel reimbursements?

One of our wonderful sponsors has given us sponsorship to help Young Coders get to the event. We can’t reimburse travel for parents/guardians.

Travelling by Bus? Please bring along your bus ticket and we can reimburse you £2 towards your ticket when you arrive. We will only be able to do this if you have your bus ticket and it shows the date of the event. 

You can use Google Maps link to find which bus route is near to the event.

Travelling by Tram or Train? Please bring along your ticket and we can reimburse £2 towards the ticket. We will only be able to do this if you have your tram or rail ticket and it shows the date of the event.  The nearest Tram Stop is St. Peter's Square

You can use Google Maps link to find which bus route is near to the event.

Reimbursement is limited to £2 per person, per day of the event. If you travel on multiple modes of transport reimbursement will be limited to £2. We will not be able to provide reimbursement towards car parking charges or taxi fares.

Is there parking nearby?

The closest 24 hour car park is Cecil Street Car Park and it’s a 5 minute walk away. 

You can use Parkopedia to find other car parks that are a bit further away.

If you are paying for parking please ensure you pay for enough time to cover the event overrunning and also include the time it takes to walk back to the car. Sometimes the event can overrun by up to 20 minutes.

If travelling by car please be aware of the Bus Gates which operate around the area, especially on Oxford Road.

Where is the Bright Building entrance?

The entrance to the Bright Building is highlighted in yellow below.

There is no parking on site. Please DO NOT park on Pencroft Way highlighted in Green below. The building and entrance is on your left as you enter the Science Park from Burlington St.

Being dropped off in a car by a family member? Please do not park on Pencroft Way. Please only stop for a moment to drop off the attendee. There is no parking onsite at Manchester Science Partnerships.

Here is what the front door to the Bright Building looks like.

What are the challenges?

The challenges this year are as follows:

How will the hack projects be judged?

Our Head Judge Richard Pearson is Head of Engineering at Moonpig and has extensive experience of judging hackathons. He has been part of the HackManchester family and has judged hack projects in the adult events and the junior event. He will be leading a group of people judging the hack projects.

Your team will be visited multiple times throughout the two days to understand your initial idea, what work you’ve completed, how you’ve worked together as a team and if you have tried something new (e.g. like a new programming language or platform) The judges will be making detailed notes throughout to build a picture of how your team has progressed with building their solution. Oue mentors will also be adding to these notes whenever they are called upon to help you so we can see what support was given by them. The company representatives of the challenges sponsors will work with Richard to make a final decision on which team will win the prize.

Remember this event is not all about winning the prizes, it's about the journey you go on, what you learn and the new connections you make. You are already a winner if you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone and tried something new.
How will we keep you safe at the event?

Safeguarding is our number one priority.

We ensure we have enough DBS check volunteers and mentors to run the event safely and we have best practices for keeping our attendees safe throughout the event.

We are experienced in running large scale events for young people from age 8 to 18.

Claire McDonald the event organiser works at an Further Education College and is the Designated Safeguarding Officer and very experienced in the safeguarding of young people.

I'm a parent of an attendee aged 11 or 12 – What can I do?

For our young coding enthusiasts aged 12 and under, you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. If a parent or guardian can't join, we understand! For the safety and enjoyment of our young attendees, we kindly ask that they are accompanied by an adult to stay and participate.

There are a few areas for you to sit so you’ll be able to observe what is happening. Please bring along books, magazines, a kindle, iPad or laptop. Please ensure your electronic items are fully charged or bring along a charged power bank, we cannot guarantee you’ll have access to a plug.

Is there a code of conduct?

Yes. The code of conduct can be found here.

The code of conduct applies to everyone present at the event.