PUMPS app idea wins coding contest

TNMOC Team wins Best in Show at the world’s largest hackathon for young people

Have you ever put the wrong fuel in your vehicle? A team from The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) developed an app to tackle the issue and won Best in Show at the Young Rewired State Festival of Code.

For a week, eleven young coders developed four different apps for smartphones and tablets in the home of Colossus at The National Museum of Computing. They were competing in the annual Young Rewired State Festival of Code, the world’s largest hackathon for young people. 

At the end of the week, many of them went to the finals in Birmingham where one of the apps created at TNMOC by James Thatcher (aged 10), Raoul Vangerow (14) and Julien Vertz (17) won top prize amongst about 200 entries. 

The team’s ingenious app called PUMPS was designed to ensure no-one puts the wrong fuel in their vehicle when filling up at a garage.

Using publicly available data, their app identifies a vehicle’s number plate when it pulls on to a filling station forecourt, links it with data held by the DVLA to find out the engine and model number, and communicates with the filling station to disable the fuel pumps that would deliver the wrong fuel to the vehicle. 

The judges were very impressed by the research and coding that went into the project and by its highly desirable purpose.

Other inventive ideas created at TNMOC included two music player apps, one of which responded to what was onscreen to play music appropriate for the concentration required by the work being performed. Another which amused the judges measured distances in all sorts of crazy units, such as the number of chessboards between Milton Keynes and Bedford!

Dave Sussman, the TNMOC Volunteer who co-ordinated the event, was thrilled with the outcome: “The teams of competitors and mentors were fantastic. They worked incredibly well in teams, everyone contributing their own particular skills to create inspired apps. For one of the teams to win Best in Show was beyond our expectations and delighted everyone at TNMOC who took part. The future looks very bright for British industry!”

For those in dire need of the PUMPS app: unfortunately it is at a design stage and not (yet) publicly available for use!

Through Summer Bytes in Augusts and at weekends throughout the year, TNMOC offers free introductions to coding for youngsters.

Photos courtesy of Paul Clarke

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