When Katie Scheutzow’s 8th grade teacher mentioned nobody had ever done a science fair project with technology before, Katie was inspired.
Doing some initial research she discovered Scratch. Scratch is a free programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations.
Katie previously discovered a love for coding as she grew up spending time in coding clubs and at coding camps. That combined with a programmer for a dad gave Katie a great foundation when it was time for the 8th grade science fair. She had the tools to make a difference.
After creating her first project in Scratch she said, “It’s a really great moment when you realize how much you can actually do with coding.” The sky is the limit… after working through some technological challenges, of course.
Banking for the Blind
Through all the challenges of debugging, the disappointments when things weren’t working, Katie persevered and Banking for the Blind was born.
Banking for the Blind allows visually-impaired people to use an ATM. While this is a simple task for most of us, the visually-impaired cannot just walk up to an ATM to deposit or withdraw money. In Katie’s video she explains how her invention works. The individual has audible prompts. Then, they simply wave their hand up, down, left, or right to withdraw or deposit the amounts they choose.
The most amazing part — this is an eighth grader who created this prototype. She saw a problem as an opportunity and got to work. I can’t wait to see what else youth create and what problems they solve in the next ten years.
Check out other inspiring examples of youth improving the world with technology.
Watch as Katie Scheutzow pitches her idea for the NICEE.
You can read more about her experience here in this detailed interview:
If you know of any other youth doing positive things with technology please send it to us. We love all stories, even the smallest act of kindness needs to be shared.