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08-Jun-13, 08:30
Pupils show real app-titude to reach final
SIXTEEN pupils from Wick High School announced as finalists in Apps for Good Awards 2013. (http://www.appsforgood.org/)
Sixteen talented pupils from Wick High School, Caithness have been announced as finalists in a national schools initiative that enables students from all over the UK to design an application – or ‘App’ – for mobile phones, tablets or social media sites such as Facebook – and then have it created, produced and marketed to the public.
Following several months of preparation, 120 students working together in 24 teams have now been revealed as the finalists in the competition. Five of those top 24 teams are from Wick High School and have been invited to attend the Apps for Good Awards 2013, which will take place at the LSO St Luke’s, a spectacular venue on Old Street in East London, on Tuesday 11 June 2013. This part of London is known as ‘Tech City’ and is the home of many of the UK’s digital companies and creative agencies.
The five apps are as follows:
Team Oblivion: Kieran Sutherland, Kyle MacGregor and Michael Mowat developed a Student Voice App that allows students to raise issues affecting the school directly with Management.
Team Vona: Rebecca Reid, Keira Louden and Amber Macleod developed an app to help deaf, blind and mute communities in their daily lives.
Team Bunch ‘O Pheasants: John Gunn, Keiran Christie and Ryan Cormack developed a Farm Management Tool app to allow farmers to electronically manage their cattle rather than relying on the paper-based system
eam Dog Log: Rebekah Graham, Jeri Cormack, Caitlin Carter and Beth Crawford developed an app to help and encourage dog owners to keep their pets in optimum health.
Team Soundproof: Kristin Russell-Rickards, Lucy Brass and Morven Smart developed a social media aggregation app which pulls in your favourite band’s social media feeds into one app.
During the day, the chosen pupils will take part in a Dragon’s Den-style workshop, where they will pitch their Apps for Good ideas in front of a formidable panel of industry leaders, to compete for the opportunity to have their app prototype developed, and eventually launched commercially. The winners will be announced at the end of the pitching process.
For those who would like to follow the exciting developments during the day, pupils will be tweeting from the event, using the hashtag #AppsforGoodAwards.
Apps for Good CEO, Iris Lapinski, commented, “Once again, we were extremely impressed with the high standard of entries to the Apps for Good Awards this year. Selecting the finalists was a huge challenge, as there were so many creative and worthy ideas. The teams involved should be incredibly proud of their achievement in this competition, and we look forward to finding out who the judges deemed as the overall Apps for Good champions for 2013!”
Caitlin, Jeri, Rebekah and Beth from Team Dog Log quote: “Often at school a good idea can help achieve a goal. In the Apps for good course, however, the good idea is the goal.”
“We feel that Apps for good has opened doors for us in the tech and business industry. We’ve gained lots of confidence from making presentations and talking to experts. Computing was more fun than the traditional course because you were not simply learning skills to pass exams but earning skills that you could pursue further and use in real life such as problem solving, ICT and enterprise skills.”
Teacher, Chris Aitken said: “ This is our first year of taking part in the Apps for Good initiative. Being the first school in Scotland to be part of this and having a staggering five teams make it through to the national finals is truly amazing! All the students taking part in this course have put in an astounding amount of work and they are now reaping the benefits by being asked to attend the finals in London. Unfortunately I won’t be with them during this exciting experience as I will be taking another group of students on a month long trip to the rainforests of Belize but I wish them every success in the final. They have done their school and community proud.”
Entrants to the competition were asked to come up with creative ideas for Apps for Good, focusing on concepts that would help to improve their lives or those of others.
Prior to the Awards event, the competition finalists will team up with some of the coolest companies in Tech City, giving them a chance to spend time in a real live high-tech office and prepare for the final pitches.
The Apps for Good Awards 2013 are sponsored by TalkTalk, Barclaycard, BlackBerry, Dell, Thomson Reuters and SAP.
What is Apps for Good?
Apps for Good is a technology education initiative that enables young people from 11 to 18 years old to develop their digital skills and knowledge, and create exciting new apps for mobile phones, tablets and social media platforms. Its ultimate goal is to change the future of technology education and build a new generation of tech entrepreneurs in the UK and around the world.
Backed by leading companies in the high-tech industry, the Apps for Good movement is aimed at assisting teachers to reduce the technical skills shortage, which has become clearly evident within the UK. In London alone, there were more than 80,000 new technology-based job openings in the past two years yet, last year, only 3,420 students took Computing A-level in the whole of England. Out of those, just 255 were girls. Next year alone, Apps for Good will reach more than 20,000 students, with aims to grow to 175,000 in the next three years.
Focusing on low income and under-represented communities, Apps for Good engages young people in app creation through an online platform and in-classroom training, unlocking the confidence and talent of the students through creative learning programmes, in which they can use new technologies to design products that can make a significant difference to their lives – or the lives of others.
Apps for Good has built partnerships with formal and informal education organisations including primary and secondary schools, further education colleges, and youth/community centres. The organisation trains educators to deliver the apps creation course to young people, and then matches them with professional designers, developers and entrepreneurs to help take their ideas forward.
The courses cover all key aspects of new product development, from idea generation, feasibility and deciding on business models to product design and marketing. Young people work together as teams to find real issues they want to tackle and how best to solve them through apps. With guidance from their Apps for Good trained educators, peers and Apps for Good expert volunteers, students receive hands-on experience of all the steps in new software product development focused on a range of different platforms.
More information can be found at www.appsforgood.org (http://www.appsforgood.org/)