GET IGNITED: ZOE TONGERMAN, 14 year old Tech geek

“Being a tech geek is cool, I should know, I am one.”

14-year-old Zea is building an app to encourage people to recycle more. She explains why being a geek is cool and how tech has changed her ideas about the future
Zea Tongeman wants to encourage girls to think differently about technology.
Before I did a workshop with Little Miss Geek at my school, St Saviours and St Olaves in Elephant and Castle, I didn’t really know anything about IT.

In the workshop, Little Miss Geek brought Francesca Rosella to speak to us and show us some of her work. She is a successful fashion designer who uses technology to create unique and exciting clothes. We had a go using coding to create cool patterns on sunglasses and also put circuits onto t-shirts.

This was really what got me excited about technology because it showed me that you don’t have to be sitting at a computer screen all day typing really fast, you can be creative with it and do anything you want.

Soon after this workshop I was completely inspired and my IT teacher Mr Talbert introduced us to a competition called Apps For Good.I was ready and raring to go and me and my friend Jordan Stirbu designed an app called Jazzy Recycling.

The aim was to create an app that solved a problem and straight away we thought of recycling and how to make it fun and rewarding. As Mary Poppins says: “You find the fun and it becomes a game,” and that is exactly what our app does.

Jazzy Recycling helps you find places to recycle, what you can recycle and then lets you scan, share and get rewards for what you’ve recycled. We believe a social incentive using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can really help young people like me recycle more.

After the competition Raj Dhonota, who was on the Apprentice and is now a business consultant and an angel investor, approached us to help build the app and mentor us through our journey. We are very excited about what is to come and hope to launch it in 2014. To have people actually using our app and to know we have made a difference would be incredible, so fingers crossed it all goes to plan.

I used to think technology was just fixing computers and saying thing like: “have you tried turning it on and off again?” like in The I.T Crowd. But I have discovered another side to it and that you can make tech your own.

Technology is in everything now, you can do whatever you like with it. I am typing this on a computer and will send it via the internet.

So to all the girls who think tech is for boys in their bedrooms who can’t get girlfriends, we are the new generation and we can use technology as a tool to do all sorts of different things. So thank you Little Miss Geek, I’ve realised being a geek is cool!

Source: The guardian

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