Last week, the University of Surrey acted a centre for the Young Rewired State (YRS) initiative, hosting six students ranging from 14 to 16 years of age for the week long event. YRS is a network of developers aged 18 or under who run an event each summer across the UK, ending with a show and tell to government, industry and press on what has been coded.
On Friday 5th August, the University based group presented their work at Microsoft in London along with students from 13 other centres across, in front of a prestigious panel of Judges. These included; Jonathan Luff, from the Prime Minister’s Office; Mike Butcher, editor of TechCrunch Europe, and Andrew Sampson joint director of SamFry Ltd.
The University group’s idea for crowd management at large events called ‘Urbani’ walked away with the prize for ‘most likely to be bought’. Urbani used GPS to generate a ‘heat map’ of where large crowds were building up. Event organisers could use this information to open up more gates or provide better viewing areas in festivals or carnivals.
Winning a prize is a huge achievement for a group who had never worked together before and who had limited to no prior coding experience. Kathryn Harkup, Schools Liaison Officer for FEPS, said of the students, ‘their hard work, professionalism and willingness to learn are truly impressive. All the students had a great time and they have promised to come back next year’.
Kathryn Harkup, would like to thank the mentors who did a great job supporting the students through out the week; Nigel Stirzaker, Dan Morris, Lawrence Job and Martin Davies and extend thanks to Julian Ranger, owner of iBundle, who provided financial support as well as many words of encouragement.