Inspired by youth
This morning I went to visit the Young Rewired State group, at Surrey University in Guildford, which my innovation hub, iBundle, have partly sponsored. The Guildford group are part of the larger Young Rewired State 2011 initiative that culminates on Friday with presentations at Microsoft, London.
At Guildford there a 7 youngsters ranging in age from 13 to 16. Some who have previously self taught themselves coding and electronics and some for whom this is a first experience. As one of the 7 arrived after the others he is conducting a solo project – plunging into Xcode for the first time at age of 13 with great enthusiasm; he will do well.
The other 6 blew me away with their maturity in coming together to form a single team working together on different aspects of their project in a harmonious and coordinated way that would shame some professionals that I have seen. I won’t spoil the thunder of their presentation on Friday by explaining their idea, but I can remark on some aspects. One young man has put together his own GPS receiver and programmed it to send data to a PHP server set up by another of the team. Others have then designed a web service to access and display this data which they are busy coding in Java & HTML.
Their ability to come together with different skill sets, synthesise and agree on one clever idea from the variety of ideas they all presented on day 1, split the tasks amongst them and then make good progress on these as a team is truly inspirational. They have been supported by a mentor and visiting mentors, but this is very definitely a case of self motivated youngsters showing true engineering desire, coupled with a mature cooperative demeanour and a can do attitude to learning and implementing new skills.
It was truly inspirational to talk to all seven of them – our future is assured when we have youngsters such as these in our community.