Young Inventor : Thomas Suarez

12 Year Old Wunderkind : World's

 Youngest App Developer


This is an inspiring story of a 12 year old who redefined how kids can innovate using Technology in 2011.

While it's widely accepted that most 12-year-olds are comfortable using iPhone apps, it's not common that many 12-year-olds can code up their own. Meet Tech ingenue Thomas Suarez, who created two of his own. Both are distributed by Carrot Corp, the startup Thomas founded, but cannot legally own because he's under 18 (his father is listed as the company's president). Hundreds of downloads later, the prodigious choice of sixth grader at a middle school in the South Bay. Since for what to do next seems to be the only thing that fits into his age group's sensibilities: that's right, he spent his profits on an Xbox.

When he was 9, Suarez found himself downloading the iOS Developer Tool Kit and simulation tool onto his computer, and teaching himself Python, Java and C. Within a few months he had created his first app, Earth Fortune, and convinced his parents, Ralph and Margaret, to shell out $99 to get his wares into Apple's App Store.  "After Earth Fortune launched, I had eventually saved enough money to buy an iPod Touch," Suarez said.

CarrotCorp sells four mobile applications for the iOS platform – two are free and two others sell for $0.99 each. His most successful app is one he terms “an anti-Justin-Bieber game” called “Bustin Jieber”. 'I created it because a lot of people at school disliked Justin Bieber a little bit,' he laughed.  Tom explains that this game is like Whac-a-Mole. The game lets users “whack Justin Bieber” when he moves to a different random location on the screen – he moves every fifth of a second. The game allows more than one player to play over Game Center, and players can talk together while playing via Voice Chat. 

"I've made a lot of money for a kid," says Suarez. Suarez started an app club at his school, helping other kids build and share their creations. 'For soccer you could go to a soccer team ... but what if you want to make an app?' he asked, pointing out that it can be difficult for curious kids his age to learn how to follow in his footsteps. Thomas said the club is working with its teacher sponsor to create educational iPad apps which will be distributed to local school districts free of charge. Suarez is now a part of the official Apple iPad Pilot Program.
He also gave a Ted-X Talk, which was seen by nearly 2 million viewers on You TubeIn his talk, Suarez said that kids needed to learn these kinds of skills and be given the technology and resources to do so, because they're the foundation for future jobs. He also talked about role reversal, in that the young must teach their elders about new technology.



That talk caught the attention of Craig Hatkoff, the co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival. "It touched a chord in virtually anybody who saw it," said Hatkoff, who began mentoring Suarez through email and Skype. "He talks about the idea that kids don't necessarily want to play games, they want to learn how to make games. The whole notion that kids will take ownership if you give them something interesting that they want to do. To me, that was a revelation."

And Hatkoff had given Suarez even more tools to build. He bought Suarez one of his favorite gadgets in the world – a MakerBot 3D "desktop replicatior" (or a 3-D printer) that allows one to design and print objects. Within four weeks, Suarez had taught himself how to use it.

"I started off thinking Thomas would become my protege," Hatkoff said. "I have now learned, I am his protege."
'Uploading pictures will never be the same. Coming soon.' read a tagline on the Suarez company's website earlier. In his TEDx talk, Thomas ended with a note on his future goals “ I plan to build more programmes and expand into developing apps for Android.

We are happy and feeling proud to be in the field of promoting Science and Technology among the Kids. CODIGO is our latest step.
For every child has a genius inside!

Team Avishkaar Box

Young Inventor : Thomas Suarez Young Inventor : Thomas Suarez Reviewed by Avishkaar Box on 08:19 Rating: 5

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