A new generation of coders

by Rose Barrett
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A North Dublin school has been working with Teen Turn, a charity who provide teen girls with the opportunity to gain hands-on STEM experience, to unearth the next generation of computer coders and app developers.

Ashling Keveney, Principal at Belmayne Educate Together Secondary School (ETSS), is very positive about the impact this partnership has had on students who attend the school. TeenTurn provided mentors for the teenage girls to liaise with and learn from on Friday evenings after school, culminating in a presentation to a panel at Microsoft’s DreamSpace.

 “Teen-turn have been very supportive of our students,” said Ms Keveney. “The programme has built leadership skills, encouraged collaboration and promoted creativity in our students. The opportunity to present their projects to a panel at Microsoft DreamSpace was priceless.”

Two of their students have been recognised at Technovation, a competition where girls create an app with a social enterprise. Following the creation of their Litter Bug app. Isabella and Katya teamed up to gamify the disposal of litter. 

In their app, users are in charge of building their virtual farm; in order to develop their farm, they need points to buy animals and seeds and these points can be gained by disposing of litter correctly in the real world.

Katya explains, “On our app when you pick up the pieces of litter, you take a video of you throwing the rubbish away correctly. The more rubbish you dispose of, the more points you get. The more points you get, you can level up and get more items for your farm.”

Their app was recognised at Technovation as Katya and Isabella walked away with a €100 voucher for their efforts. They are not stopping there, with great plans for move their app from prototype to full build in the near future!

Isabella is thankful for TeenTurn and excited for the future, “TeenTurn helped us build the app using MIT inventor and also helped us create a business plan and get up and running. Now we are looking forward to taking the next step with our app.”

Well done, Isabella and Katya.

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