A new generation of UK digital makers equipped for their future
Apps for Good, the UK-based technology education initiative, has announced the six winning teams in its 2013 Awards programme in its bid to equip school children with the tools to take the UK to the next level in app development and skills for business.
Travelling from schools right across the UK, the 24 finalist teams of students aged 11 to 18 came together to pitch in front of a panel of technology industry leaders for their chance to work with some of London's highest profile companies, and to design, create and bring their apps to market commercially.
This year entries for the Apps for Good Awards has rocketed, from 300 teams with 80 entries in 2012, to 1,500 teams with 400 entries this year.
CEO of Apps for Good, Iris Lapinski, told Smart Chimps: 'We are using technology as a pull for young people; it excites and engages them, but the skills they learn including problem solving, creating products, product development, testing and launching of new products, plus knowing how to code and programme, will all help them in their future careers,' continued Lapinski.
To prepare for their pitch in a 'Dragon's Den' Style environment to industry experts in London this week, students were hosted by 12 startups from London's Tech City. The experience gave the young entrepreneurs a real insight into how tech startup organisations operate, Lapinski said.
'The ultimate goal of Apps for Good is to radically change the way technology education is taught in schools. We are building the confidence of the students taking part and developing their creative, business and digital skills for the future. This will ensure that young people are not only users and recipients of technology, but creators and makers,' noted Lapinski.
The winners of the six Apps for Good 2013 Awards categories began with the category called Power to do More – Getting the most from your time, sponsored by Dell, won by app 'Farm Management' by three 14 and 15 year old boys from Wick High School, Caithness. This app helps farmers to track and manage information about their cattle.
The next category, Keep Moving – Doing things on the go, sponsored by BlackBerry, was won by app 'Pitch Pals' by four girls aged 14 from Stratford Girls' Grammar School, Stratford-upon-Avon. This app uses playful animal characters to make instrument tuning fun for children.
The category Saving, Spending and Giving – Making the most from your money, sponsored by Barclaycard, was won by app 'Pocket Job', from four 13 and 14 year old girls from The Abbey School, Reading. This app helps teens find odd jobs in their local communities to earn pocket money.
Category Learning and Information – Helping others learn and using information for good, sponsored by Thomson Reuters, was won by 'Dog Log', by four 14 year girls again from Wick High School, Caithness. This app makes looking after your pet fun with points for good care.
The category Our World – Encouraging sustainable and healthy lifestyles, sponsored by SAP, was won by app 'Supportive Schedule', created by one boy and five girls all aged 15, from Nelson Thomlinson School, Wigton. It helps people with learning difficulties and Alzheimer's Disease plan their daily routines.
Category Connected Communities – Using technology to unite interests, ideas and good causes, sponsored by TalkTalk, was won by app 'Story Wall', by one boy and three girls all aged 13 years old from Cockburn School, Leeds. This is a collaborative storytelling app.
Finally, the special category, People's Choice Award, was won by 'Social Bank', which makes saving fun for young people. This was made by four 13 and 14 year old male students from Mount Grace School, Potters Bar.