BELLEVUE, Wash. — Nine-year-old Vibha Anand is helping to tackle a problem that she’s seen discussed on the news many times, recycling.
Vibha is a third grader at Clyde Hill Elementary in Bellevue, and has created what she hopes will be a resource for kids around the world.
Like many other kids her age, Vibha loves singing, piano, gymnastics and science. Her parents got her involved in coding during the stay-home phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, she enrolled in BYJU’s online FutureSchool. Vibha learned the basic coding skills she needed to develop an idea for the online learning platform. FutureSchool teachers encouraged her to enter an “18 Under 18” competition and asked her to think of a real world problem that could potentially be solved using technology in the form of an app.
In the summer of 2021, Vibha was watching the news with her little brother when she heard about the difficulties people have in learning how to sort trash and items that can be effectively recycled. She remembers learning about recycling and composting practices in preschool and wanted to develop a solution to help other kids - and adults - understand how to properly sort garbage from recyclable materials.
She used her coding skills to created an app called “Trash Sorter.” The concept was well-received by the online school and she was selected to compete in the 18 Under 18 competition with other students around the world.
"Trash Sorter" helps kids understand the three kinds of waste. Garbage, recycle and compost appear on the sorter screen, and users are able to learn what categories their items fall under and how best to dispose of them. Vibha is done with the coding and design and is working out a few bugs with the app's function.
“Computer bugs, not the little crawly bugs,” giggles Vibha.
She hopes to one day become an actress or a singer. Until then, she’ll continue to develop her vision for an app that will help guide kids on how to sort trash and help cut down on household waste.
She’s currently a finalist in the 18 Under 18 competition and has plans for a new and improved version of her app.
“I want to make it a game so more kids will use it and learn while they play,” Anand said.