Horsham’s young coders pick up prize in international competition

Horsham's young coders at the Festival of Code.
Horsham's young coders at the Festival of Code.
  • 12 Horsham youngsters took part in International computer coding competition
  • Team of three eight-year-olds made it to finals with their Elephantatic alarm clock
  • First time town has taken part in event

Young coders from across the district have taken part in an international competition, with one team picking up a prize in the finals.

For the first time in Horsham’s history the town has taken part in the Festival of Code which challenges youngsters to combine their technical and digital skills to solve real life problems using open data and computer coding.

A mixture of 12 young coders, aged between seven and 14, spent last week working on different projects before popping up to International Convention Centre, in Birmingham, where they presented their creations in front of parents, mentors and industry expert judges.

One group in particular, featuring three eight-year-olds from the town, did extremely well making it all the way to final.

Emily, Charlotte and Maddie picked up a judges prize for their elephantastic alarm clock, mixing the town’s charity campaign with some complicated coding.

The competition is run yearly by Young Rewired State and sees more than 1000 young coders come together from the UK, USA, Germany and Kosovo.

Festival of code Emily, Charlotte and Maddie present their elephantastic digital alram clock.

Festival of code Emily, Charlotte and Maddie present their elephantastic digital alram clock.

On the Horsham side the team was bought together by Hack Horsham, who promote digital awareness in the town, and software provider Red River Software.

Red River hosted four training days at their offices in the Bishopric where mentors from the company along with members of Hack Horsham and Strategic Internet Consulting helped the young coders create their projects.

Horsham MP Jeremy Quin also visited to try his hand at some coding before wishing the team luck ahead of the competition.

As well as the elephant alarm clock other projects included an endangered species database, a KFC calorie counter, which explains how much fast food you can eat in the distance it takes for you to walk to the store, and a crime report database.

Marcus Tyler Moore, of Hack Horsham, said: “All our kids gave excellent presentations in Birmingham with some incredible ideas and incredible talent.

“It just proves Horsham has a lot of talent in our youth for coding.”

He added he wanted to thank all the companies involved in organising the event and also the children for taking part.

Nik Butler, also of Hack Horsham, said the town needed to take part in more events like this to stop people turning to Brighton or London for digital work.

He said: “I think this is a wonderful example of a much undervalued aspect of the Internet and shows that the opportunities for innovation it provides are the same in Horsham as they are anywhere else in the world.”

Simon Pringle, director of Red River Software, added: “This event is good as we want to see more people getting into the industry.

“It is a booming industry at the moment but there aren’t enough people around so we need to promote it locally.”

To apply for next years event visit http://festival.yrs.io/live