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Thomas Suarez is a 6th grade student at a middle school in the South Bay of Los Angeles. When Apple released the Software Development Kit (SDK), he began to create and sell his own applications. "My parents, my friends and even the people at the Apple store all supported me," he says, "and Steve Jobs inspired me". Thomas points out that it's hard to learn how to make an app. "For soccer you could go to a soccer team ... but what if you want to make an app?" He's started a club for fellow students at school, where he shares his knowledge of programming. Thomas articulates his vision that students are a valuable new technology resource to teachers, and should be empowered to offer assistance in developing the technology curriculum and also assist in delivering the lessons.
Thomas has been fascinated by computers and technology since before kindergarten. Recently, he's been focused on the development of applications for the iPhone, and has established his own company, CarrotCorp http://www.carrotcorp.com/. His most successful application is one he terms "an anti-Justin-Bieber game" called "Bustin Jieber". "It's is a variation on the Whac-a-Mole theme," he explains. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bustin-jieber/id404956571?mt=8
More information about TEDxManhattanBeach can be found at http://tedxmanhattanbeach.com/. Follow us on Twitter @TEDxMB
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxManhattanBeach, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxManhattanBeach event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.