Energy and Excitement at the Apps for Good Awards 2016

A few weeks have passed since this year’s Apps for Good Awards but we still haven’t gotten over the excitement of meeting amazing student teams from across the UK. In our latest blog Apps for Good Expert Claire Unwin, from Atos, looks back at the evening of the Awards and some of the fantastic teams she met.

It’s over three weeks since the Apps for Good Awards took place at the Barbican in London, but I’m still buzzing from the energy and enthusiasm that was generated on that Monday evening when England were still in Euro 2016.

Stepping into the Gallery space at the Barbican centre, I was hit by a wall of noise. When I’ve attended conferences and trade fairs, there’s a subdued mumble in comparison. Here, when I tried to listen to the children promoting their app, some of the younger team members literally had to shout to be heard!

Fifteen finalists each had their own pitch on a stand and the invited guests circulated around the teams in the ‘Marketplace’, discovering the story behind each App. There was a healthy element of competition. This year, as well as the winners chosen by the ‘Dragons’, there would be a winner for People’s Choice. This year hundreds of  app ideas had been submitted to the final selection by schools across the UK who are delivering the Apps for Good course. I was thrilled to see three of the teams that I’d helped in my role as volunteer ‘expert’ had made it to the final.

Each of the finalist teams had to present their ‘pitch’ to the Dragons in the afternoon. There are five categories of awards, all of course with the theme of benefiting people rather than being for profit: Accessibility, Information, Connected Communities, Sustainable Communities and Productivity.

Team_Diploy

Team DiPloy from Denbigh present their app

But this is now the fifth year of Apps for Good and not only has the number of entries grown, but the ways in which those involved can be recognised has also grown. This year, the awards ceremony was run by ‘Fellows’ i.e. school children who had been through the Apps for Good programme. There was an award for Expert of the Year, which deservedly went to Sandra Gonzalez, as founder of UX for Change and the person who first introduced me to Apps for Good.The Employability awards recognise the teams who may have done the best market research or the best marketing.

I spoke with the team for Rocket Code, a computer ‘game’ where you are lost in space and have to code a spaceship to get you home. If you want to travel faster in space, you code yourself a booster charger! The team were so passionate about their project, they said they’d be progressing it even if they didn’t win. Other apps I loved were Lillies, for children having to deal with bereavement, who had contacted 100 charities involved in the area as part of their research. Then there was DiPloy which is an app to support people with disabilities get into employment and where the team had gone into partnership with an existing Luton based charity to provide a service to generate CVs and run a job portal. Finally, Changes won the People’s Choice award and is an app for children dealing with going through puberty. All teams had found a problem to be solved, researched the market and were passionate about their project.

Leaving the Barbican, I was reflecting on what I love about Apps for Good? I love that it inspires everyone. I love that it’s such a simple model but with structure and purpose. (It’s effectively an MBA course for 12 year olds!) It’s a course where you learn to research, market, promote, present, pitch, problem solve, design, prototype and even code. I loved that one of the teams I’d helped had been brave enough to abandon their initial idea and were here in the final with a fresh new idea. I love that 50% of team members are girls and I love that nearly 50% of volunteers are women in tech.

If you asked me to take charge of the recent cabinet reshuffle, I’d propose a Minister for Entrepreneurism impose a tax on tech companies to support Apps for Good who are making such a huge contribution to training our next generation of employees!

To close the evening, Debbie Forster, CEO of Apps for Good, stood on stage with the finalists and once the applause died down, said simply “I defy anyone here tonight, not to feel inspired!”

It was a great night and great cause and I look forward to supporting Apps for Good in their sixth year.

Finalists

All the finalist from the Apps for Good Awards 2016

 

Girls in Tech: how did we get here?

We’re kicking off a series to accompany a new three-year project supported by Comic Relief, which aims to challenge sexism in the digital sector. Here Max Baczynski from the Apps for Good Business Development team examines the history of some of the issues facing girls in tech. Later blogs will focus on what we’re doing to try to improve diversity in the tech sector as part of the project, and, in true Apps for Good style, where we’re succeeding and where we’re failing.

We all know that women are terribly underrepresented in tech, with only 17% of positions in the UK tech industry filled by women. The real question is why? What happened to women in computer science?

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Joining the dots: 5 Years of Apps for Good

In 2015/16, we’ve been celebrating our first 5 years in schools. Here, Founder & co-CEO Iris Lapinski looks back at our journey from one centre and 50 students in South London to over 1,500 schools and 75,000 students around the world, and at where we might be going next.

It is always easy to look back at the past and tell a convincing and logical story of what has happened and why it was unavoidable. But, as Steve Jobs already noted in his famous 2005 Stanford commencement speech, connecting the dots looking backwards is easy; what is impossible is predicting the future and knowing what dots are important and connecting them before events happen. So, you have to trust that the dots will connect somehow in the future.  Continue reading

Apps for Good Fellows get a digital marketing masterclass from the experts at 123-Reg

On Monday 20th of June Apps for Good held our annual Awards ceremony at the Barbican Centre in London in order to recognise the work of some of the most innovative and inspiring student teams we have seen since the organisation was founded.

The event was a resounding success. Our students, educators, experts corporate partners and staff all came together for a celebration of digital talent and one of the reasons the day went so well was because of the tireless volunteer support that we received from another key community – our all important Fellows.

It was a long day for the Fellows that attended the awards but their presence as volunteers and student ambassadors for Apps for Good was absolutely invaluable. From helping with logistical challenges to speaking with student teams and corporate partners alike at the marketplace, our talented and committed former students showed everyone at the event that the Apps for Good journey continues after the course is finished and the Awards have been won.

I would like to extend a big thank you to all of the Fellows involved on the day.

Before they started greeting guests and helping set up the judging sessions in the afternoon, the Fellows attended a workshop led by marketing experts at 123-Reg. Group Director of Digital Nick Leech, UK Display and Affiliate Executive Matthew Butterfield and Group Head of Environmental and Social Governance Vaishali Patel led a workshop with the Fellows on how to market themselves online, how to pick a great name and build a brand and what goes in to a successful website.

Apps for Good Fellows plan their websites at the 123-Reg workshop.

Apps for Good Fellows plan their websites at the 123-Reg workshop.

In his own blog about the workshop, Nick Leech outlined the structure of the session expressed his happiness in working with Apps for Good on this workshop.

The partnership that Apps for Good and 123-Reg have built over the past year has gone from strength to strength, culminating in this workshop and their sponsorship of the 2016 Apps for Good Fellowship Prize. Kate Cox, Group CMO at 123-Reg presented our six Fellows of the year with the prize honouring their commitment to improving their skills, engaging with the tech and entrepreneurship community and inspiring others to do the same.123-Reg made a very important contribution at our Awards this year and we hope that our partnership will continue to develop in future.

123-Reg CMO Kate Cox presents Katie, Jashvanth, Sophie, Ellora, Ben and Rebecca with The Fellowship Prize.

123-Reg CMO Kate Cox presents Katie, Jashvanth, Sophie, Ellora, Ben and Rebecca with The Fellowship Prize.

 

 

Press release: Britain’s tech future is bright following announcement of winners of 2016 Apps for Good Awards

Six teams of young students from across the country have been recognised for their digital skills, as Apps for Good announces the winners of their annual awards. Following a tough competition entered by hundreds of student teams, the six winning teams of students are going to be working alongside professional app developers and sponsors to get their app ready for market in February 2017.

Now in its fifth year, the Awards recognise and celebrate young tech entrepreneurs who are creating apps to change the world for good. Any students who study the free Apps for Good course – currently being delivered in over 800 schools nationwide – are able to enter.

The winners all between 9 and 18 years old, were selected from 15 finalists from across the UK, to have their apps created and made available on Google Play. The announcement comes following the Apps for Good Awards on the 20th of June at the Barbican. Five of the winning teams had to present their app to a team of industry leaders, made up of Chris Linnett, Director of Design at Spotify; Tunji Akintokun, Director of Global Virtual Sales, Cisco and Gayle Noah Media Director, L’Oréal UK & Ireland at the Apps for Good Awards ceremony. The remaining winning team was chosen by an online vote in the People’s Choice Award.

Winners for the Apps for Good Awards 2016
Category Sponsor Winner
Information Thomson Reuters Fear Nothing
Sustainable Communities Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Donate IT
Connected Communities Salesforce.org Lilies
Productivity SAP Allergy Basket
Accessibility Samsung Diploy
People’s Choice Award EE Changes

Debbie Forster, co-CEO of Apps for Good explains, “This entrants for this year’s competition were amongst the best we have ever had in the Apps for Good Awards history. We’re incredibly excited to have such talented, and creative students taking part, and believe Britain’s future as a tech hub are bright.”

“Our mission at Apps for Good is to equip these young people with the skills to allow them to move from being technology consumers to technology creators. Our five winners wowed the judges, and amongst the brightest young minds, and we look forward to their launch in February next year.”

Ends

For a full list of winners head to http://www.digitalnewsroom.co.uk/afg/

To arrange interviews, speak to spokespeople or with any questions, please contact:

Elly Barham Marsh, Niamh Kelly
0203 1279 270
elly@manifest.london, niamh@manifest.london

Fear Nothing
A team of 9-10 year olds from Westfields Junior School, Hampshire have been announced as winners in this year’s Apps for Good Awards. Their app Fear Nothing helps children deal with their phobias, it won in the Information category powered by Thomson Reuters, helps children deal with their phobias.

Donate iT
A team of two 18 year olds from Connell Sixth Form College has been announced as the winner of the Sustainable Communities category sponsored by Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at this year’s national Apps for Good Awards. Their app Donate iT aims to help users donate furniture, equipment and other items to the charities that need them.

Lilies
A team of 13-14 year olds from Stratford Girls’ Grammar School, Warwickshire has been announced as the winner of the Connected Communities sponsored by Salesforce.org at this year’s national Apps for Good Awards. Their app Lilies  helps support 10-16 year olds who have lost a loved one.

Allergy Basket
A team of 9-10 year olds from Westfields Junior School, Hampshire have been announced as winners in this year’s Apps for Good Awards. Their app Allergy Basket tells users if the ingredients they are allergic to are in a food, was shortlisted in the Productivity category powered by SAP.

DiPloy
A team of 12-14 year olds from Denbigh High School, Luton has been announced as the winner of the Accessibility category sponsored by Samsung at this year’s national Apps for Good Awards. Their app DiPloy aims to help disabled people looking for employment by simplifying the process, collating suitable job opportunities in one place.

Changes
A team of 10 & 11 year olds from Coleridge Primary School, London has been announced as winners in the People’s Choice powered by EE for their app idea Changes The team has spent months working on the app, which helps children who are too nervous to ask adults about puberty by providing them with useful information.

As well as the finalists for the six main Apps for Good Awards categories, a series of additional awards were announced on the night to celebrate other schools and individuals involved in the Apps for Good curriculum programme.

Judging Partner: Capgemini

Venue Partner: Barbican

Supporters:Uncorked

Additional Prizes

Fellowship Prizes powered by 123 Reg

Sophie Willis from Bolton St. Catherine’s Academy
Katie Louise Griffiths from Stratford Girls Grammar School
Ellora James from Wick High School
Jashvanth Srikantharajah from Sutton Grammar School
Ben Jilks from The Boswells School
Rebecca Jilks from The Boswells School

Employability Skills Prizes

Tech Prize:Petsit, created by: Stella Boutcher (13), Caitlin Briggs (13) and Karin Lelengboto (14) from St. Marylebone CE School, an app that helps connect pet owners and pet sitters in an area.

Research Prize: Briefcase, created by Francesca Clutton(14), Jesse Lee (14), Lilian Waters (13), Katie Wellstead (14), Jessica Zheng (14) and Molly Quelch (14) from Stratford Girls’ Grammar School helps young adults trying to find work in their area

Marketing Prize: Trim, created by Ben Croucher (14), Shalan Mendes (14), Tim Murphy (14), Armand Coretchi (14) and Tej Shah, (14) from Sutton Grammar School for Boys helps to reduce waiting time in restaurants.

Impact Prizes powered by SapientNitro

Educator of the Year: Jon Kemp, teacher at Bolton St. Catherine’s Academy. Kemp is active with both encouraging students to join Apps for Good and mentoring the Fellows after they have completed the programme.

Expert of the Year: Sandra Gonzalez, Principal UX Designer at Just Eat. Gonzalez is the founder of UX for Change and has founded a scholarship programme to give Apps for Good Partners professional UX training.

School of the Year: The Boswells School, Essex. The Boswells School has implemented the Apps for Good programme since 2014 and has already become an advocate for the course. After having a student team, My World of Atoms, win a prize in the 2015 Awards, the school has utilized its fellows and teachers to raise awareness of the programme in the Essex community.

Information sponsor: Thomson Reuters
Sustainable Communities sponsor: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Connected Communities sponsor: Salesforce.org
Productivity sponsor: SAP
Accessibility sponsor: Samsung
People’s Choice Award sponsor: EE

About Apps for Good

Apps for Good is an education technology movement that is transforming the way technology is taught in schools, turning young tech consumers into tech creators. Apps for Good aims to unlock the confidence and talent of the next generation of problem solvers and digital makers: young people who are ready to tackle the 21st century workplace and are inspired to create real technology products that can change their world for good.

Working alongside educators Apps for Good has developed a free flexible course framework that infuses digital learning with teamwork, creativity and entrepreneurship. Students find a problem they want to solve and apply new skills to making a real life app, exploring the full product development cycle from concept to coding to launch in a way that brings the classroom to life.

Apps for Good partners with educators in schools and learning centres to deliver its app development course to young people 8-18 years of age. Since launching in 2010/11 Apps for Good has been delivered in over 1,000 schools to more than 75,000 students. Apps for Good is a registered charity and is supported by partnerships with companies and foundations who share their vision of improving technology education. Corporate partners and sponsors include technology leaders Thomson Reuters, Salesforce.org, Nominet Trust and Samsung to name but a few.

Student teams are an inspiration at the Apps for Good Awards 2016

Last Monday 15 amazing student teams from across the UK gathered in London to take part in our annual Apps for Good Awards. At the event each team pitched their problem-solving app to industry leaders in the hopes of launching their app on the market. 

The teams began their day with a trip to some of the coolest offices in London’s Tech City including Spotify, EE, Salesforce and SapientNitro. The students got some last minute tips and advice on how to perfect their pitch to the Dragons and got to take a look round a real office. The teams from Westfields Junior School were even lucky enough to get some ice-cream to refuel for their judging session.

Westfields_sapientNitro

SpaientNitro treated Fear Nothing & Allergy Basket to some ice-cream during their accelerator session

After that it was straight to the Barbican where teams pitched their app ideas, tackling problems such as struggling with loss, donating items to charity, conquering fears and more to our Dragons and the public. As always our students impressed everyone with not only their app ideas but their confidence and passion. Denise Dunne from EE, sponsor of the People’s Choice Award, joined us as a Dragon and commented, “It was incredibly inspiring to see the effort and energy that all the students brought to their projects. EE are delighted to support Apps for Good and following the high standard of work that we witnessed this year, can’t wait to get going on working with next year’s students.”

Awards_blogs

Poppy from Fear Nothing pitches at the Marketplace and team Destination for You present to the Dragons

The day came to a close with the Apps for Good Awards Ceremony where we our six winning teams were revealed, and the winners of our Employability Skills, Impact and Fellowship Prizes. You can check out all the winners on our website and you can see more pictures from the event here.

Inspired by the Apps for Good Awards?  Want to teach Apps for Good in your school? Join now to teach our free course in your school. 

 

Adventures had and lessons learned at Thomson Reuters

Ellora, aged 15 from Wick in Scotland, is our 2016 Fellow of The Year. Below she tells us about her recent work experience.

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 12.47.30

For someone who lives nearly 700 miles away from London, I’ve spent quite a lot of time there recently – In fact, I’m going down again soon for the Apps for Good awards in June. But my last adventure to London involved four days of work experience at…Thomson Reuters!

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