9-year-old web developer Lauren Boyle is named Digital Girl of the Year

30 Oct 2014

Lauren Boyle, founder, Cool Kids Studio (image via @laurenboyletech on Twitter)

Advocate for girls in STEM and developer of three websites at just nine years old, the remarkable Lauren Boyle has been named EU Digital Girl of the Year 2014.

Dubliner Lauren Boyle is the founder of Cool Kids Studio, an initiative that spans three websites she has built herself.

Boyle was recently presented with a Next Generation Award for Excellence at the Irish Internet Association’s Dot IE Net Visionary Awards, while Cool Kids Studio was recognised in the websites category at this year’s CoderDojo Coolest Projects Awards.

Boyle was also shortlisted as an EU Digital Girl of the Year finalist and today, Thursday, she has been recognised at the European Ada Awards ceremony in Rome as part of the e-Skills Making a Career with Digital Technologies event.

Our EU Digital Girl of the Year 2014 was apparently gobsmacked at the result, but it comes as no surprise to those of us at Silicon Republic towers who have been following Boyle’s development with great interest and admiration.

The original Cool Kids Studio website teaches children aged three to 12 life skills with advice on what to do on a rainy day, how to deal with bullies, making friends and meditation. Within a few months of going live, the site had already received thousands of hits.

Boyle has since branched out with a sister site focused on healthy eating and a maker site with projects for kids to try.

Lauren Boyle before she was named Digital Girl of the Year 2014 at the Ada Awards

Lauren pictured before the Ada Awards ceremony in Rome (photo via @taniaindublin on Twitter)

As a resource for kids developed by a kid, Boyle’s websites are as useful for parents and educators as they are for the target audience. She has even presented a proposal to Minister of State for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English, TD, suggesting that Cool Kids Studio become part of the primary education curriculum to address ‘emotional learning’.

As well as naming Boyle as EU Digital Girl of the Year 2014, the Ada Awards also presented engineer Esther Roure Vila, who was nominated by her colleagues at Cisco, with the 2014 Digital Woman of the Year award, while UK organisation Stemettes was recognised as the European Digital Impact Organisation of the Year.

Women Invent Tomorrow is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Accenture Ireland, Intel, the Irish Research Council, ESB, Twitter, CoderDojo and Science Foundation Ireland.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic