By Kate Merrill

FRAMINGHAM (CBS) – Daniel Quackenbush of Framingham loves computers and he loves to fish. Out of those two passions came an idea to solve a problem.

“I didn’t know what I was catching,” he told WBZ-TV.

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His lack of knowledge often meant he had to throw the fish back, until he came up with an app called What the Fish. You simply snap a photo of the fish using the app and it identifies the species. It will also tell you the rules and regulations on what is fair to keep and what has to go back.


Daniel came up with the idea while studying about computer programming and machine learning.

“I knew that computers have become really good at these image recognition tasks,” he said.

Daniel’s idea was nurtured at Keefe Technical High School through a program called Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). According to NFTE’s director, Jennifer Green, these types of skills are critical for our future.

“We need problem solvers.  This next generation of youth, they have to be entrepreneurial thinkers,” she said.

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Daniel’s app won several regional competitions and he is headed to the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in New York City this Thursday.

Moses Ramirez and Keny Morales with Daniel Quackenbush. (WBZ-TV)

Keny Morales of Chelsea and Moses Ramirez of Everett, both students at Bunker Hill Community College, are also going.

They created a simple anti-stress device called “mindflow.” It’s basically a bottle filled with liquid, glitter and small floating balls. The idea is to take a minute to concentrate on the swirling glitter with the goal of taking your mind off a stressful situation.

Mindflow (WBZ-TV)

“Every single piece of glitter is like a problem you have,” Ramirez explained. “It only takes simple concepts to fix a big problem.”

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The competition is a bit like Shark Tank where the students will pitch their ideas to the judges. The winner will get seed money to take the first steps to get their products to market.

Kate Merrill