Young programmers came together for a weekend filled with innovative solutions to real city problems during a unique competition in Astoria.
On June 29 and 30, Young Rewired State (YRS) — a United Kingdom-based organization dedicated to helping teens learn to code or program — held a free weekend-long workshop at the Museum of the Moving Image.
Partnering with the museum and Mozilla’s Hive Learning Network NYC, YRS hosted its first event in the U.S. Fifty teens, ages 14-18, were able to work with each other and 20 mentors to create digital products and prototypes using data to address concerns and problems specific to New York City.
“It’s all about community and curating young developers, bringing them out of the bedroom and familiarizing them with the world around them,” said Thom Brooks of YRS.
The teens got together to form groups and choose the open data they would be using for their projects. The rest of the first day was spent developing and building the products. Some of the projects that took home prizes after presenting at a show-and-tell the next day included an app to find nearby restaurants using Wi-Fi and a Citi Bike Range Finder to help riders determine if they could reach one Citi Bike station from another within 45 minutes.
The winners of the event received a flight to attend the Young Rewired States Festival of Code in the U.K., an annual event during the first week of August. YRS hopes to come back to the U.S. next year and hold events in all five boroughs.