Saturday 21 January 2017

Bright sparks making the most of coding talents

Published 14/03/2016 | 02:30

Niamh Scanlon European Digital Girl of the Year 2016. Photo: Conor McCabe Photography
Niamh Scanlon European Digital Girl of the Year 2016. Photo: Conor McCabe Photography

EU Digital Girl of the Year Niamh Scanlon has used the CoderDojo Coolest Project Awards to make life easier for motorists driving electric cars.

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The 13-year-old has been working with the ESB to officially launch her app, which maps all electric car charging points around the country.

"My dad was interested in getting an electric car but wondered how to track down the nearest charging point.

"That got me thinking and I decided to create an app which mapped all the points out around Ireland.

"It also tells you if there is someone at each point so you don't have to queue for hours."

The Recharge My eCar app took her about three months to create and has earned her awards from Coolest Projects and Eir Junior Spider.

"I just love entering the Coolest Projects Awards every year. It's just so fun and a great way to use your imagination."

Niamh (13), who lives in north Dublin, is also one of the youngest mentors of the CoderDojo Scratch programme.

She started CoderDojo classes in Dublin City University when she was just nine and soon began mentoring older students.

In recent years she has also developed a learntocode.eu app so that people who can't access classes near their home can learn coding skills online.

"Girls are just as able as boys to code and get jobs in the IT sector and I think it's really important to promote this."

Meanwhile, Stephen Cushen (14), from Navan Road, has developed an app that allows a tourist to access bus and train times in real time anywhere in the world through Twitter.

"My sister was away at college and always had to annoy the hotel for bus times, which gave me the idea," he said.

"If a hotel registers with the app, then their guests can use a code on Twitter to access all real-time information on transport, including Dublin Bus, Irish Rail, London Underground and all the German and Dutch transport networks."

The Junior Certificate student admits he has caught the Coolest Project bug and is already thinking of new apps for next year.

Irish Independent

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