Cookstown High School ‘GTracks’ team recently rubbed shoulders with royalty as they enjoyed a trip to Buckingham Palace.
The innovative group of teenagers, who have won numerous accolades including an Eircom Junior Spiders award in Dublin with their Davagh Nav’ app for mountain bikers travelled to London hoping for the royal seal of approval for their app.
The team comprised of students Daniel Weir, Joel Cuddy and Vincent Wong and under the gudance of teacher Mr Robert Johnston had a very early start as they had a 3am wake up call for their flight to London.
On arrival at the Palace, which included a Dojo@thepalace event GTracks had to pitch their app for judging as a Beta Award Finalist.
The team supported the dojo event and during the event developed an App about the coderdojo work that was taking place in the room.
Teacher in charge of GTracks team, Mr Robert Johnston told the MAIL: “The GTracks team gave the best pitch I have ever heard them give to an audience that included coder dojo kids from 9-16 years old.
It also included some very senior business people from London, such as Hay Recruitment, Microsoft, The Telegraph Coder dojo workers and Judges, to name but a few.”
The Duke of York who was hosting the event in association with the Nominet trust spent around 15 minutes with the team and asking every question that the team had ever considered and a few more.
Mr Johnston added: “He was clearly impressed and also said the same to Bill Liao, Coder Dojo founder.”
As if that wasn’t praise enough, following the event, the team were named on Twitter as the Duke of York Entrepreneur of the Week, The tweet from the Palace read: “#DOYEntrepreneur of the week is @GTracks_CHS - an @idea_award team developing DavaghNav - a satnav for mountain bikers.”
Addressing all participants at the coding session, The Duke of York said, “I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to invite CoderDojo into the Palace as a stepping-stone to getting more business in the local area to think about this. Collaborative learning is really the way the digital world works.”
Bill Liao, the co-founder of CoderDojo said: “Acting as a convener of resources and talent to bring CoderDojo to the families in the Victoria area, The Duke of York has shown his commitment to the high tech future of inner city youth. We applaud his continuing efforts and deeply thank him and all the Palace staff who made this landmark event possible which has resulted in the formation of a permanent free and much needed CoderDojo for the kids of the Victoria area.”
Keep an eye on the Mid Ulster Mail in the coming weeks as we ‘track’ the progressive of these impressive young students.