Tech4Good Awards – Finalists at BT Tower

Raspberry Pi

Yesterday me and my mum had the most amazing time with Tech4Good and had lunch at the top the BT Tower – as it revolved! I have been short listed  for their BT Young Pioneers Award, along with three others. Our South London Raspberry Jam has also been short-listed for the Digital Skills Award.

It was so nice to meet the judges and the other finalists. There were so many really cool people who are doing amazing things with technology to help others.  The first people we talked to were  Arnav, his little sister and mum. He has used a Raspberry Pi to develop a measuring device for Asthma sufferers. It can read things like humidity, pollutants and  dust levels so people can monitor factors that trigger an asthma attack. He is an awesome coder –  he said the dust  sensor was the hardest to work out the code for.

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The event kicked off with a  talk by Mark  Walker and a short film about AbilityNet  and the Tech4Good Awards. It’s brilliant to be one of the finalists and even if we don’t get further – it’s really nice to amongst all these people who are doing good through Technology.  Next it was the Networking  part, a bit like Speed Dating where you had 2 minutes before moving on to the next person. I decided to start at the opposite end from mum! It was really good fun

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I met some amazing people and learnt a lot about different areas of the Digital market. Among them was Katherine Payne, who works for ustwo games which happens to be where I’m currently doing a  series of Coderdojo  Games Development  workshops for a competition that’s going to be held in Dublin, in two weeks’ time. She asked me about what I do and how we started our jam and then she told me about what she does and offered me some gaming tips for Monument Valley – their award winning game. I also talked to James Cannon, one of the judges who works for a Charity Digital News company and we discussed how I’m planning to help others get into coding.

 

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Lunch was ‘beast’, really amazing. We took the lift, which felt like Roald Dahl’s Great Glass Elevator – it travelled at 7 metres a second to the top of the 189 metre tower where there was a café which rotated, showing off the outstanding views of London in front of us. For lunch me and my mum had cod and chips which was delicious – so we shared a couple of portions and then for desert there was an amazingly crafted triple chocolate brownie with cream and mixed berries.

After that we were ready for some more networking. We talked to the weKonnekt team – who  have designed an app for young carers to connect to forums and access community information. Their teacher talked about how amazing  ‘App for Good‘ were, in helping them. We didn’t get to see the eWaterPay team – but I had a photo  taken with the rest of the Young Pioneer finalists.

IMG_2680There were so many others we spoke to – including Mark Walker and Josh Russell, both judges for the Awards. Mum talked to Josh about coding, inclusion and running successful events as he’s a cool Technology strategist and I found out what ‘Invisible Design’ was all about – something that mum does to make our jams so awesome.  Oh yeah,  Jo  Claessens from BBC – representing the Micro:bit, came to talk to me as she  was interested in what I do. She told us about amazing things happening in Manchester linked to pre-apprenticeships (young coders’ links to industry people). Mum was interested in her Wearable/Maker sessions, too. It was so nice to link up with the others, swap business cards and even afterwards -through Twitter. For example,  Arnav lives in the same part of London as me so I’m going to let him know about the next cool coding event.

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So what next? We’ll find out the winners of the Tech4Good Awards on the 6th July  but in the mean time there is a People’s Award  where you choose the best out of the finalists and vote.  I hope you will either vote for me, in the Young Pioneers section or for our South London Raspberry Jam – in the Digital Skills category. You can  follow these links below to vote:

http://www.tech4goodawards.com/finalist/hackerfemo/

http://www.tech4goodawards.com/finalist/raspberryjam/

Or – even more easily through Twitter – just send a tweet using the two hashtags below and they will count as one vote for each for us. You can vote as many times as you like, using this method. So if you follow me on twitter [@hackerfemo] and retweet my tweets with the hashtags below- I’ll get extra votes.

#T4GHackerfemo       [that for me: BT Young Pioneers Awards]

#T4GRaspberryJam   [our Autism&Tourette’s Syndrome friendly Coding events  in the Digital SkillsAwards]

Please do check out all the finalists  at  http://www.tech4goodawards.com/finalists-2016/ and follow me on Twitter at @hackerfemo

[*Don’t worry, mum’s monitoring it so that I’ll stay safe]

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What was the key message I took home from the Tech4Good event? It’s great doing coding but even more awesome when you share your knowledge with others and have a positive impact in the community.

Thanks Tech4Good for selecting us for finalists – it’s such a privilege.

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