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Fifth-grader, aspiring computer scientist, creates mobile apps

Woerther Elementary fifth-grade student Nolan Zink has taught himself how to create mobile applications.

Inspired by his own experiences, Woerther Elementary fifth-grader Nolan Zink has cracked the code – and developed multiple mobile applications.

The 11-year-old taught himself how to program various educational apps. It was while on a road trip playing the license plate game that the inspiration came.

After keeping track of the states on his iPad, he mentioned there should be an app for that and decided he was the man to create one.

After a few days of online research, he purchased an app developer account on an android platform and downloaded basic software to help with the programming. Through the program, he created and launched his first app, which was the list of states to check off during the license plate game.

“I read books and blogs, did a lot of googling and watched online videos,” said Zink.

When asked how long it took him to learn to code for apps, Zink responded, “Two months.”

Zink created and launched 20 basic, free apps on the Google Play platform, including Guess the Logo and Guess the Emoji. On the iOS platform, he launched a True-False Trivia app.

His mom, Laura, said, “Since the apps weren’t sophisticated enough to charge per download, he arranged for marketing companies to advertise on his free apps, thus earning him a fraction of a penny for an impression, or changing of the ad banner while the app is open.”

Last summer, he created and launched an electronic fidget spinner app on the Google Play platform, which awarded him $100 for having the most downloads of a fidget spinner app in a two-month period.

“I started getting 10,000 downloads a day,” said Nolan. “I was really surprised.”

Earning a monthly stipend from marketing companies, Zink bought a MacBook Pro and an Apple developer account on the iOS platform.

The majority of his apps are free and available for download on iPhone and Android devices through iTunes and Google Play.

“For some of them, I do have ads-free versions where it costs 99 cents,” Zink noted.

Zink said he plans to pursue a career in computer science.

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