A COMPUTER program to help people read Braille was among the four winning entries at the Tameside Hack.
It was put together within two days – or more accurately 12 hours – by four lads from West Hill School, Stalybridge, who called themselves Team Exception Overflow.
Amish, who was joined by Joby, Daniel and Oliver, revealed the surprising statistic that out of 285 million visually-impaired people on the planet, only around 1 per cent learn Braille in which letters are represented by raised dots that can be read using the fingertips.
“We want people to learn Braille and to have fun while doing it,” said Amish, who also described the event as worthwhile and very enjoyable.
Exception Overflow were one of several teams at the Ashton Old Baths digital hub competing in Tameside Council’s first youth hackathon – part of the Greater Manchester Youth Hack – under the auspices of the “every child a coder” pledge.
It was a fun two-day competition designed to inspire a new generation by testing digital skills and creativity. There were lots of prizes including vouchers and Raspberry Pi computers, and local businesses set the challenges and helped as mentors.
Ideas ranged from the functional to the entertaining. Team Now Loading – Josh, George and Jamie – developed an in-game challenge to keep people occupied while various stages of a game are loading on consoles. George explained: “Even if it’s a really bad game, if it takes a long time to load then that’s the worst part.”
Team Smarter Future - Marc, Adam, Connor and Pheonix - used a Raspberry Pi to design a program which allowed energy-usage to be controlled remotely through sensors. This could be further developed into a convenient phone app.
Adam, Joe, Abbas and Morgan – Team ICTOAN – created a website and a series of puzzles.
Cllr Lynn Travis, Tameside Council’s executive member for lifelong learning and every child a coder champion, congratulated the teams saying: “I’ve been impressed, informed and inspired by what I’ve seen today. It really has been excellent.
“Next time I hope to see some girls taking part because I know they can code just as well as boys and I’m interested to see the ideas that they would come up with.”
Details of the next hack will be available soon on Twitter @TamesideHack or at www.tameside.gov.uk/TamesideYouthHackathon
Winners: Hack Manchester Hack Challenge: Exception Overflow, Banter Hack Challenge: ICTOAN, Purple Hack Challenge: Smarter Future, Best Teamwork Award: Now Loading
The hackathon was sponsored by Purple, Banter, Active Tameside, Bradley’s Bakery, the Glossop Chronicle, O2 Ashton, Tameside and Glossop Care Together, the Tameside Reporter and Hack Manchester.