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Kiwi Bright Sparks announces leading young tech heads

13 Oct 2014

Bright Sparks 2014 finalists have been announced and the group innovative winners, all between 12-17, are already making tracks in the digital industry.

Focused towards young people and encouraging them to work on projects based on software, technology and electronics, the competition engages the best and the brightest from the next generation.

“Many of these students live and breathe software and technology. There are some incredibly sophisticated young minds out there,”says Ross Petersen, Bright Sparks manager.

There are four groups: up to 12 years, 13-14 years, 15-16 years and 17+ years. This is the 14th year the competition has taken place and there were more than 100 entries. Winners came from around the country, with Auckland and Christchurch residents making it to the top a number of times.

The entries and winners displayed how young people are adapting to the changing technological era. “The rise of the digital native is becoming more apparent as each year goes by,” says Petersen.

Software entries are growing, for instance, and already projects are gaining traction and recognition. “When you’ve got entries already generating income and/or commercial demand, it bodes well for New Zealand’s future,” Petersen says.

Among the winners is 16 year old Kerman Kohli for his homework app. The fully developed app helps students to manage their homework, tests and assignments and has already had 500,000 downloads.

Jonathan Everett, 16 years old, created a working model of an America’s Cup yacht and 14 year old Isaac Mercer’s submission was a fast, secure computer operating system that revitalises laptops and PCs.

The awards ceremony for the winners will take place on October 30 at 5pm in Auckland. Sir Ray Avery will make the keynote address and Michelle Dickinson will be the MC for the evening. You can find the list of finalists here.

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