THE leap from high school student to entrepeneur just shrunk for Jake Roberts, who beat university-enrolled competitors to TAFE's App One prize.
The Kellyville High School year 10 student came first in the competition with his concept ScreenStep, an app to measure and compare the amount of a carbon a person generates while cycling, driving different vehicles or on public transport.
The app is designed to link to social media where users can share their progress on personal carbon reduction goals.
"It probably opens some people's eyes to how much carbon they use, because not many people know how much is produced from a car trip," Jake said.
"The idea for the app came to me from our elliptical trainer which had a calorie counting function.
"I thought 'couldn't I have something that measured how much CO2 you produce, and the idea would be you'd then use less and that would be better' [for the environment]."
Over two weeks Jake researched how to turn the concept he created into a real app after he found out he had won the competition in January. He hopes to engage a professional to build it this year.
He said offshore developers charged a minimum of $500 to build an app, but he would allow people to download it for free.
"The benefits would be less respiratory diseases such as asthma, cleaner streets — because in Sydney you can smell all the car fumes — and on a large scale [less] global warming. It is contentious [but] I think it is probably one reason our climate is changing," he said.