From left to right: Callum, Nikita, Nicholas & Declan.
Believe it or not, the next generation of entrepreneurs is already upon us. Primary and high school students are already implementing their ideas into projects and turning them into a reality. Twenty something entrepreneurs are no longer the ones to shock us; rather we are in awe of the new wave of pre-teens who are taking over the entrepreneurial space.
It is programs like the Young ICT Explorers that give the younger generation a platform to test their skills and be recognized outside of the classroom. It is a non-profit competition that encourages school students to create their best Information and Communication Technology )ICT) related projects. For Declan and Callum, it has done just that. Declan, and his team with Nikita & Nicholas, took out equal first place of the Year 5-6 category while his brother Callum took out first place of the Year 7-8’s at the NSW Young ICT Explorers this year and went on to pitch their projects at the Pearcey Awards in NSW Parliament House.
Proud Dad and mentor of these two teams, Evan, has said,
“Parents and schools ‘get’ sporting achievements, but it’s very hard to get them to really appreciate what goes in to creating a program, robot or device. Competitions like the Young ICT Explorers really help give kids the sort of validation that’s otherwise only available to the soccer team.”
Declan and his team have conjured up a techno-savvy game to encourage recycling in schools. Their project is called ‘BIN I.T!’ and is “an open source hardware and software solution for monitoring recycling bins”. They decided that their project had the potential to make a real difference in an area in which they are truly passionate – recycling. Evan believes that passion is key in developing an idea, where, “if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you’ll overcome all the obstacles that you find along any development path”. The teams even had the privilege of visiting the offices of Google, where now Declan’s dream job is of course to be a programmer for Google!
On the other hand, Callum has created ‘Car Share Space Monitor’, “a device to stop people illegally parking in assigned care share spaces”. The monitor warns the driver when they have parked in a car share space and also sends an email to the Council Rangers as well as to GoGet to inform the car-share driver. After pitching his idea, Callum then contacted GoGet directly and was invited to their offices to share his vision with the technical team (stay tuned)! After this exciting venture, Callum’s dream job is to create his own technology company, “one with as cool offices as Google’s”.
“I strongly believe that kids should be taught to program, and about electronics. It’s essential that they have some control over technology in a world where they are surrounded by it.”
Well there you have it folks, the next generation of entrepreneurs have arrived and they're only half-way through school! Watch this space.