Cork teen’s apps make her a double Technovation award winner

15 Jul 2022

Saanvi Kaushik. Image: Teen-Turn

14-year-old student Saanvi Kaushik has received the Junior Regional Award for Europe, a year after being recognised at the Technovation World Summit in 2021.

A Cork teenager is now a double Technovation award winner, being recognised this year for creating a new climate-focused app.

Saanvi Kaushik was recognised at the Technovation World Summit last year for her app called Stellar, which helps patients access occupational therapy services. Not content with a single achievement, the 14-year-old has won an award for another innovative app.

Her new app called Climattain has bagged her the Junior Regional Award for Europe at Technovation, a global competition that encourages girls interested in technology to create problem-solving apps.

Climattain aims to inform, encourage and empower young people to take daily climate actions to positively impact their carbon footprint and improve the world’s environment. Users can log activity, create challenges for others and get rewards for positive behaviour.

The Cork student was inspired to tackle the global climate emergency and said every individual “must take responsibility”, but she also had personal reasons to develop the app.

“I have not been able to visit my grandparents in India due to the huge levels of smog and pollution,” Kaushik said. “Today, seasons don’t really exist in India and it’s extremely hot all year around.

The Technovation competition saw 5,500 girls from 61 countries compete this year, with around 1,700 mobile apps created.

Kaushik, who attends Christ King Secondary School in Cork City, worked with Teen-Turn to create Climattain. Teen-Turn is an Irish charity organisation that works with young women and girls from underrepresented areas to help them get involved in STEM.

Kaushik said she is now working on refining the machine-learning models and content of the Climattain app, which can currently be used by students within a school.

“In the future, I want the users within a class to be able to connect and also be able to join global events,” Kaushik said. “I will fix all the bugs to get the app market-ready and then I will launch it on [Google] Play Store and AppStore.”

Whistleblower app

Meanwhile, Limerick student Flourish Olushola from Coláiste Nano Nagle won first prize in the junior division for her app that educates users on the meaning of gender-based violence.

Olushola originally planned to create a climate-focused app, but the death of Aishling Murphy made her want to deal with gender-based violence instead. Her app called Whistleblower also shows users how to address this issue and where to go if help is needed.

“I did not expect to win anything as it was my first time doing any sort of coding but I somehow managed to win first place in the junior division and I won a brand-new HP chromebook,” Olushola said.

“Teen-Turn helped me so much through my Technovation journey from all their resources to connecting us to professional app developers,” she added.

Irish teams continue to show success at Technovation competitions, earning both regional and global awards in recent years.

In 2020, Margaret Akano, Rachael Akano and Joy Njekwe from Drogheda, Co Louth, took the grand prize in the senior division for their app to help families affected by dementia.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic