“When we’re children, we’re natural inventors…. When kids come out of college, what happened to that inventive capacity?”

From Teen To Techie In Twenty-Four Hours

A student working on her programming skills at CodeDay

Innovative thinking and problem solving are in high demand, especially in industries facing big challenges such as healthcare, food supply, or sustainable energy.  That’s why IV—a company that invests in the technologies shaping our future—lends its support to youth who are learning to apply their ingenuity to real-world applications in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Edward Jung, Intellectual Ventures Founder and CTO, hopes more kids will keep their creativity as they get older. “When we’re children, we’re natural inventors,” says Jung. “When kids come out of college, what happened to that inventive capacity?”

Edward Jiang—different spelling; same creative tendencies—represents a young generation of innovators who, like Jung, want more youth to pursue tech fields. Jiang is one of the founders of StudentRND, a nonprofit organization with a goal to create the next generation of technologist by getting students excited to work on tech projects they care about. He started StudentRND out of his Seattle backyard after graduating high school in 2009. Today, StudentRND events span the U.S. and include the popular CodeDay.

The StudentRND team

CodeDay—sponsored in part by Intellectual Ventures—is a hackathon for students ranging from middle school to college. Teens gather for an intense 24 hours when everyone from coding newbies to seasoned programmers learn to pitch ideas, form teams, and build an app in a day.

IV caught up with a team from a recent New York CodeDay. Their idea: build an app for enhanced music discovery and sharing. The team created the YouPlay Radio software app, which draws from user-submitted music videos available on YouTube to help listeners find an array of original, covered, and remixed songs. App users can then then stream YouTube’s endless supply of music.

Through CodeDays alone, Jiang and the StudentRND team are bringing the creative brainpower of more than 2,000 teens together in cities across the country. With so much ingenuity sparked in a single day, imagine what problems these creative minds will solve once they join the workforce.

Read a Q&A with the YouPlay Radio team on Project Eureka!


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