Introducing the inspirational young inventor whose big dreams are only as limited as the technology he uses to turn them into a reality.
Meet Femi Owolade-Coombes
Femi, aka HackerFemo, is a young digital creator from Catford, England, who’s taken his passion for coding all across the globe. At 12 years old, with a Legacy Award and a Points of Light Award already under his belt, he’s really only just getting started.
Diagnosed with Tourette’s at the age of seven, Femi turned his condition into truly a positive aspect of his life—taking his passion for coding and technology and setting out to make them more accessible to people like him, creating a true sense of community along the way.
“We set up something called ‘South London Raspberry Jam,’ which is a coding event where people who have Tourette’s like me, as well as other people who have autism, could learn how to code in an environment that was friendly to them, so they wouldn’t be overwhelmed when they came in, and they can just sit down, have fun, and ultimately enjoy it like I do.”
From here, Femi took his talents and ceaseless enthusiasm to Bangladesh, where he ran 17 workshops for 220 young Bangladeshis as a way to help inspire and propel a young generation of coders like himself.
Doing Big Things with Tiny Tech
Femi’s passion for tech started with the BBC micro:bit. This tiny-but-mighty computer was provided to more than one million school children across the UK, encouraging them to get creative with digital technology; allowing them to code, customize, and control their micro:bit from anywhere.
Micro:bit provides a range of simple to complex functions: from creating a scrolling word LED display and communicating between micro:bits, to motion detection, compass, and sensors that can allow a user to program security lights or a self-watering plant. It’s truly one of the most customizable pieces of technology available as Femi has gone on to show each young coder he works with.
“Without this technology, I never would have been able to do all the amazing things I’ve done.”
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