This year’s Apps for Good Award winners designed apps to help dementia sufferers and the elderly, teach sign language and make revision more efficient
The fantastic 2017 finalists onstage
The Apps for Good annual Awards ceremony (now in it’s 6th year) celebrates the young tech entrepreneurs who have completed the Apps for Good course. The event, at the end of the school calendar, is a culmination of all the ideas, learnings and hard work which students and teachers have put into the completion of the course throughout the year. The finalist teams are selected from the 25,000 students who have created the technology product which tackles the problem or issue they care about.
Schools from across the UK were in attendance at this year’s awards and it was a true celebration of the movement and impact student’s ideas are having on communities across the country. A previous example of an app helping to change a community is the Cattle Manager App which won at a past awards and has now been professionally developed and downloaded more than 25,000 times.
The Cattle Manager team from Wick High School (Award winners 2013)
The quality of ideas brought to the finals means the stakes of the competition are always high and this year was no exception! The ideas which were finalists at the 2017 Awards maintained the outstanding quality we have become used to and the judges found it a tough challenge to select the winners.
Our partners (including Thomson Reuters, SAP, Samsung, Virgin Red and GoDaddy) and awards guests got to see the quality of all the students’ work in the marketplace where the students’ aim was to win votes in the prestigious People’s Choice Award. James Tipple, Managing Director, Virgin Red (sponsors of the People’s Choice Award) said the marketplace was “A unique insight in how the next generation view “the world” and are thinking about how to change it.”
The team from Holy Trinity CofE Primary School David, Zamyrah, Hayden, Samiyah, Caleb & Kamira bring their app Read: It (which helps children learn to read on their own) to the marketplace
Students addressed a wide variety of issues with their tech ideas this year, ranging from not knowing what to do in the summer holidays, to helping charities buy essential items, to teen health and taking care of loved ones. The quality of research, design and execution the students had put into their work was phenomenal; the time and dedication they had put into their pitches did not go unnoticed. Nick Budd, Digital Business Architect at Capgemini noted “There was great enthusiasm shown by all the teams pitching. They all showed great confidence and resilience dealing with awkward questions from the ‘old’ Dragons. If we could somehow replicate the maturity that the 3 young VIP speakers demonstrated then companies would stop complaining about the skills of young recruits.”
The girls from the Micro:gate team pitch their idea to the dragons
After extremely tough deliberations the judges had to come to a final decision as to who would take the prizes. They wanted to crown everyone a winner but had some strict criteria which needed to be adhered to. “The students innovation, enthusiasm and creativity was fantastic. A pleasure to see and to be part of the event”, said Tcha Willson, Head of IT Operations, Octopus Group.
This year’s winning teams by category were:
Internet of Things Category powered by Samsung
Safe Step from Dunoon Grammar School
Their digital product Safe Step was created to help users keep an eye on friends or relatives by letting them know if they’ve had a fall. Functions of the product include smart bath and door mats so that users will be alerted of falls in high risk zones in the home such as the bathroom.
The team said “We are delighted to have taken part in this IoT course – it has helped us to build confidence as well as many other skills. It feels amazing that we are the winners of our IoT category.”
Check out their pitch video here.
Information category powered by Thomson Reuters
Booksy from Elstree UTC
The Booksy app was created to promote visual and collaborative learning amongst GSCE students. The app allows users to scan and upload their notes linked to course textbook pages, see objects linked to the specification in virtual reality when they are scanned from course materials. Another feature for users of the app is collaboration with other users by sharing their notes and findings amongst the community on Booksy.
The winning team is made up of Kirsty, Savanna and Andrew who all took part in the Apps for Good course at their school Elstree UTC. They said “Apps for Good has given us the invaluable experience of designing, pitching and talking about our app. Seeing the diverse range of opportunities/roles within the tech industry really makes us excited for the future. The program broadened our understanding of the industry.
Productivity category powered by SAP
Home Help from Bridgwater and Taunton College
The app was created to help people suffering from early dementia to track stored belongings using visual cues and support them to develop habitual locations for storage.
The winning team is made up of Becci, Nikita and Ryan. Their reaction to winning the award was “We were really happy to get shortlisted but a bit nervous. After working with our accelerator we were well prepared for the pitch and we’re really pleased we won! A really good day.”
People’s Choice Award powered by Virgin Red
Sign Time from St Marylebone CE School
The winning app was created to teach children how to communicate in sign language through visual learning and games. Its features include:
- Videos to promote visual learning, encouraging users to sign along with them.
- Mini-games and quizzes
- Quick play feature using the phone’s inbuilt camera to test/rate user’s sign language against the videos in the app.
On receiving their prize of support and mentoring from Virgin Red and Holly Branson the team (Anna, Michelle and Lily) said “We’ve really enjoyed working on the Apps for Good course. We’ve been working really hard to on our idea and presentation, the team is so happy we won! We’re really looking forward to working with Virgin Red on developing our idea.”
Fellow of the Year powered by GoDaddy
Adam Lee from Mount Grace
Adam, aged 18 from Mount Grace School Potters Bar, was the winner of this year’s Fellow of the Year Award. The award recognises Adams’s outstanding commitment to furthering his skills, inspiring other young people and creating positive change in the world through technology.
Adam, along with the other two Finalists, Tasneem Rahman and Holly Dyson will now work with GoDaddy EMEA, the category sponsor. GoDaddy EMEA will look to provide mentorship across a range of different areas including marketing, user research and digital entrepreneurship, to help provide the fellows with the skills they need to be the tech leaders of tomorrow.
Employability Skills Prizes
The Employability Skills Prizes are chosen before the awards day and recognise those teams who have shown outstanding ability in a specific area of the course. There are prizes for Tech, Research and Marketing.
This year’s winners are:
As always the whole day was extremely memorable and one of the most exciting days in the Apps for Good calendar. We would like to extend another huge congratulations to all our entrants, finalists and winners this year; your ideas and enthusiasm never fail to astound us!
Apps for Good fellow Jasvanth hosts the ceremony