SMA students triumph in national technology competition
Students at St Matthew Academy, Blackheath, have triumphed in a national technology competition, with teams winning in three out of seven categories at the Apps for Good Awards 2012, which are sponsored by Barclaycard, Dell and the Nominet Trust. The awards aim to showcase the ideas and passion of young people for technology and social enterprise and encourage them to use technology to tackle problems for social good. As part of the prize the winning apps will be built by sponsors and will be available through Android later in the year.
Fifty schools have been involved in the Apps for Good programme, coming up with ideas for socially useful apps and planning how they could be created, marketed and financed. Over 300 teams entered their ideas into the competition. These were whittled down to just 14, with St Matthew Students being nominated in three categories, and last week the shortlisted teams were invited to a day-long presentation and judging session at London’s Barbican.
Teams had to do a 15 minute presentation and undergo 15 minutes of questions from the judges who included the CEO of Barclaycard, the MD of RIM (Blackberry) and the Global Head of Mobile Technology for Thomson Reuters. The judges were looking for characteristics such as originality, functionality, viral potential and whether it could make money.
David Adekoya in year 9 won in the Learning category with his app Qbook aimed at improving literacy and understanding; the Promise Keeper app won for boys in the Community category, and the girls tied in the Information category with their ‘Whatever the weather’ app.
‘This was a stunning achievement by our students,’ says IT teacher Gail Harrison, who has been working with the teams after school since the beginning of the year. ‘They had to face a real grilling, and impressed the judges with their confidence and their well-thought-out ideas – particularly about how money could be made through links and promotion.’
Debbie Forster of CDI Europe, who run the Apps for Good programme in the UK, commented, ‘We wanted to work with St Matthew Academy as it is the best school in UK for enterprise and were pleased to partner them with Thomas Reuters who supported them with IT support and mentoring. We are so proud of the teams and the strides they have made during the Apps for Good programme.’