Teenagers let loose in MadLab

Josh explains..

Last week was the third annual Young Rewired State (YRS), and we happily hosted at team at MadLab.

What is YRS?

If you hadn’t heard, YRS is about young developers using (or collecting) open data to make/develop apps and ideas. Eight young developers joined in during the week at MadLab, with a wide variety of hacks, apps and ideas being generated. Alongside MadLab, there were 12 other centres across the country, plus a small work-from-home group.


On the Friday, we journeyed down to London for the Show&Tell – presenting 12 different ideas, including:

  • A book scanning system for Madlab, plus front end built by Joseph and Josh
  • Train, bus and map related apps from Michael and David
  • “Wierd stuff your MP likes”, and Allotment ebay seller from Connor
  • Hacks around music, film and book data from Josh, Matthew and Karl

A couple of these won prizes, but that wasn’t really the point or goal. It was the energy and creativity around YRS was extra special. At MadLab we were even joined by our youngest-ever YRS’er (aged 12) who was a real newcomer – I’ve blogged at the Net Squared site about how he was supported.

What Next?

Josh built a survey (please circulate) to try and understand where and how the skills on show were developed. Overwhelmingly, people were self-taught – formal education hasn’t played much of a role so far.

Taking this further, @hubmum (a founder of Rewired State) posted around issues to increase participation of girls – Year 8 is too late.

We are also thinking of a mini youth-hackday for October half term – please shout if you can help in anyway….

Big Thanks!

Thanks to all those that supported the week, including @bobop, @flytwogirl, @qmacro, @julianlstar, @adamamyl and the YRS team.

Extra special thanks to all at MadLab for hosting us again.

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