CAMPBELL, Calif. — A fourth-grade student at Campbell has won the Silicon Valley Challenge by creating an app that facilitates community building and storytelling.
Hari Gangadharan, a 10-year-old attending Grade 4 at Ocean Grove Charter School, has been taking coding lessons since Grade 1. During the pandemic, he started taking one-on-one virtual coding classes with BYJU’s Future School and learned about the organization’s Silicon Valley Challenge, which asks students to identify a real-world problem that can be solved. thanks to technology.
As a book lover who grew up hearing stories within his nuclear and extended family, Hari decided to devote his efforts to creating an easy-to-use community platform to encourage children, friends and families to create stories and share them with the community, especially at a time when “the pandemic has isolated a number of us, alienating us from each other.”
From March to July 2021, Hari worked on an app called MUNI (short for “community”), an app where “one user starts a story, another continues where it left off. The chain continues endlessly hand in hand with the creative imagination the thoughts.” The app offers a number of story genres including children’s literature, comedy, fantasy, poetry, drama, realism, and romance.
“Through the Silicon Valley Challenge competition, I have been inspired to create a special online experience that will bring together our thoughts, dreams, and inspirations!” Hari said in a video shown to the judges. “MUNI, short for ‘community’, is a way to inspire and contribute to the stories of your community. My vision is that we all come to MUNI with creativity and imagination, and leave with hope, encouragement and positive relationships. The stories are the oldest form of human connection.”
The app is now available on Google Play. Hari has also completed a second app called PLAYDAY, which helps parents bring kids together for virtual, in-person or hybrid play or study dates.
“I want to be a software engineer with a heart full of empathy,” Hari said. “I not only want to create something amazing that will help this world, but also share my knowledge and understanding with the underprivileged to bridge the technology gap in this world.”