Micro Challenge #23 – Investigating the role of HCI in accident prevention

27 May 2020 - 3 minute read

Welcome to the twenty-third of Altitude Foundation’s #MicroChallenges2020

Today’s challenge will develop your understanding of Human-Computer Interaction and its benefits!

What’s a Micro Challenge?

These challenges are short activities to help you develop, revise or refresh your coding skills, posted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Micro Challenge #23

Over the next few weeks, we are running a series of guest challenges, put together by our friend at Newcastle University Open Lab, Megan Venn-Wycherly. You can learn more about her work here and OpenLab here

These challenges work as stand-alone challenges and also as a mini-course which builds together and.

These challenges all focus on Human Computer Interaction. Human-Computer Interaction (or HCI) is a field of study which looks at how people use digital technologies. The official definition, from the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) defines HCI as being

A discipline concerned with the design, evaluation and implementation of interactive systems for human use and with the study of the major phenomena surrounding them

HCI is “interdisciplinary”, meaning it makes use of knowledge and skills from lots of different disciplines, including: computer science, design, media studies, psychology, engineering, information security, cognitive science, human factors, artificial intelligence, games design, sonic design, art… and more! You can learn more about what HCI means in this video.

The Challenge:

Your challenge is to research the Three Mile Island accident. How might Human-Computer Interaction have affected the outcome? Could it have helped avoid the accident?

Review it:

Considering what you have discovered:

  • Why do you think HCI might be important to the world? Society? Your community? You? (Think about health, security, education, local government, communication..)
  • What might happen when these computing systems aren’t developed with consideration to the people involved?


  • Share your ideas with Megan @Mwycher on Twitter for feedback and tips on how to take your challenge further. 

Share it

We would love to see what you have created! Please send any pictures, videos, or files of your activities to us – either via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram  using #MicroChallenges2020 or to challenges@altitudefoundation.org. If you are emailing them to us, please let us know if you are happy for us to share your stuff on our social media platforms (with credit, of course). 

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