WWDC…a grandson’s dream

IMG_0019I’ve been enjoying watching the excitement and inspiration experienced by my fifteen-year-old grandson, Ryan, as he attends Apple’s extravaganza WWDC conference in San Francisco this week as one of 350 scholarship winners for students of all ages. The photos from inside the conference are his since the parents who accompanied those under 18 were relegated to the parents’ lounge. Congratulations, Ryan. Enjoy!

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We also took a mini-trip over to Coit Tower–a must for my volunteer firefighter son, even though, contrary to popular belief,  it was not designed to resemble a fire hose nozzle. The murals inside the tower’s base were painted in 1934 by a group of artists employed by the Public Works of Art Project, a precursor and depict life in California during the Depression. He especially enjoyed the depiction of a MVA with all units responding circa the 1930s.IMG_0047

Grandson 15 wins coveted WWDC scholarship

WWDCYes…Grandma Karen screeched with delight when she heard the news. Grandson Ryan, age 15 and a freshman at Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon, had been chosen along with 349 other students of all ages (thirteen and older) around the world to receive a scholarship to Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference to be held in San Francisco June 8 – 12.

His winning entry involved making an app about his three currently available apps:

step it StepIt, an innovative way to say anything in 3 simple steps and share it with your friends.

“…A really beautiful way to share messages with friends and family…” -AppPicker
“Great for quick notes…beautiful design.” -Appgevity

Space Bandit, a delightful game for children of any age. Follow Ripley the raccoon on an amazingly-fun journey across time and space! Choose your rocket-ship and get ready to blast off into space. With 20 levels and counting, this pizza-filled adventure is a blast.

BuzzIt to build crazy-fast reminders on your Apple Watch. BuzzIt taps your wrist, allowing for fast reminders, even on the go.

P1000092But Ryan’s entry into the world of computers, programming, and app development started much earlier. For Christmas of 2008, when he was eight years old, I gave him Lego’s programmable robot Mindstorms.

P1000099Within a few hours, on his own up in his room, he had assembled and programmed his new creation and then made a video of it.


But that wasn’t the end of it. What better to do with a robot than to get it to do your chores. In the ensuing years he taught it to fold laundry…

…and even type his homework. 

149Lest you think he is only one of those young genius computer nerds, his stellar grades in all subjects, his knack for writing (coming from an early love of reading), his participation in cross country and track, and even his love for his Faith class belie that. I’d like to think I started him on his way, but it is his entire family (younger brother, Sam, excelling on his own and about to achieve his Red Belt in martial arts, Dad at Intel and a volunteer firefighter, Mom a science teacher, his other grandparents, and the rest of his extended family) that have been the village to nurture this young man from his precarious entry into this world in a NICU for a week until today and into what will be a bright future.