Michael Nixon from Wagga is the 14-year-old Australian student is the founder of EduKits International and the inventor of The Amazing Annoyatron that won Australia’s National PitchFest Competition for regional-based start-ups. The only entrant under age 18, his Amazing Annoyatron kit teaches youngsters age 9-15 how to code and think outside the proverbial box. “For the jobs of the future, kids are going to need to know not only about technology, but how to use and modify it,” said Nixon.
The Amazing Annoyatron kit contains 30 components that can be used to build more than 20 projects. It was created based on feedback from youngsters about the gadgets, gizmos and inventions they’d actually like to build themselves. The kit provides everything needed, along with interactive and online resources. “Children love pranks and Nixon has built on that with an educational tool that enables youngsters to create fun items that engage their natural curiosity. Users learn how to code items ranging from a motion-sensitive ‘broken’ light to a program with sounds that mimic extraterrestrial life. Individuals can synthesize catchy tunes and program an electronic cricket.”
I haven’t seen The Amazing Annoyatron in action, although it sounds like a nicely through-through idea, but this is yet another example of the really cool stuff being done by young Australians. Having spent this Saturday at the Young ICT Explorers National Competition and leaving tomorrow to accompany the Australian team to the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards in Bangldesh, I can attest to the amazing depth of talent we’re developing.
Now, the key thing for Australia is not to only develop young talent, but to ensure that it stays in the country as it matures.
If you want to learn more about The Amazing Annoyatron kits see the website.