Announcing the winners of the Future Makers Awards
Launched during Code Week 2016, the Future Makers Awards, organized by CoderDojo and Liberty Global, celebrates digital solutions that answer society’s most pressing challenges.
Young coders aged 10-17 from 13 countries accepted our challenge to take on pressing issues in their local communities with tech! Entrants choose social issues that mattered to them in relation to education, health, and the environment among others and used their coding skills to develop projects to combat them!
The projects were judged on their technological & coding complexity, their positive social impact and how innovative they are. After much deliberation, our three judges – Severina Pascu (Managing Director UPC CEE), Tony Hanway (CEO Virgin Media Ireland) and Bill Liao (Co-founder CoderDojo) – selected four Future Makers winners.
In the 10 – 13 year old category
•Winner: Giulio Muratori, 12 years old from Italy, developed an educational game for children with Down Syndrome using the skills he learned at his local CoderDojo in Modena. Here is his reaction to the news:
•Runner-up: Andrei Covaci, 12 years old from Romania, created a robot that can monitor CO2 levels in a classroom and signal the teacher if those levels exceeded the healthy limits. He has attended CoderDojo Oradea since it started, 3 years ago. On finding out he was a runner-up he noted “This year is a great year because some awesome things happened to me in the last month and I thought nothing good can happen to me anymore. But yesterday I found out that I was designated the runner up at The Future Makers Awards. I am very glad because you think the CO2 Monitor is a cool project. I started robotics only last year, so when I submitted my project I didn’t expect it will be that appreciated. This is an awesome experience and I think the Arduino set will help me develop some great new projects.”
In the 14 – 17 year old category
•Winner: Aoife Kearins, who recently turned 18, from Ireland, developed ‘Eye Opener’, a device that prevents drivers from falling asleep at the wheel by warning them when their core body temperature drops (a core sign of falling asleep). She used the skills learned at her CoderDojo club in Sligo to programme her project. On hearing of her win Aoife exclaimed: “That is absolutely incredible, thank you so much! I can’t believe it at all. I had put so much work into the app, it’s so nice that it is being acknowledged!”
•Runner-up: Roland Horváth, 15 years old from Hungary, developed ‘Mustad!’, an educational app that teaches sign language, allowing anybody to easily communicate with people who are deaf. To make the app he coded it using C# language in Unity.
To celebrate their accomplishments, the winners in the two age categories are invited for a 2-day trip to Amsterdam, the European Capital of Innovation 2016, where they will have the opportunity to explore the city, meet inspiring innovators and learn more about Liberty Global. The runner-ups will receive a cool goodie bag of coding and robotics equipment to the value of €300 to help them further develop their project ideas.
What the Judges thought:
“Wonderful is when you get amazingly creative and talented kids participating in a program designed to get them to use code creatively to make stuff! This year has been exceptionally full of wonder and creativity and it is essential that these opportunities keep being supported for their futures!“ – Bill Liao, Co-founder CoderDojo
“I would like to congratulate them on this achievement and further encourage them to pursue their passion for better and coding superpowers to create the future.” – Severina Pascu, Managing Director, UPC CEE
“The Future Makers Awards is a super initiative that motivates young people to develop their coding skills and use them to create a positive social impact (…) By getting involved with CoderDojo young people improve their employment prospects while taking an active part in creating a better society.“ – Tony Hanway, CEO of Virgin Media Ireland
Feeling inspired & have your own project idea?
You can register your place for this years Coolest Projects Exhibition 2017. The showcase will be held in Dublin, Ireland on June 17th. The Future Makers Award is just one of several Awards youths can enter at the showcase, which will also feature interactive exhibits, games and insightful speakers.
Youths who want to attend the Coolest Projects Exhibition from across Europe and the US (limited availability) can apply for a travel bursary to attend here (deadline March 19th).
About Liberty Global
The transformative power of the internet is found in every corner of the world. It defines our generation, and is inspiring the next, in ways that we are only just beginning to imagine. That’s why our vision for Digital Imagination is inspired by our deep belief in the liberating potential of technology. Our goal is to take people further, to fuel imagination, and to empower us all to realize our potential. Read more about Liberty Global here.