A better world with tech: Scotland’s brightest young students pave the way to harness technology for social action

On the 5th of March, 40 Apps for Good students from five different schools from across Scotland gathered together at Dovecot Studios to pitch their tech for good products to industry professionals and peers – gaining valuable feedback and advice on how to take their products to the next level.  There were 11 products showcased, tackling a range of issues young people care about, from fake news to mental health and child protection.

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Natalie Moore, COO of Apps for Good, welcomed the students and teachers and gave a run through of the order of the day. “We are here to celebrate the work you are doing.” she said before releasing the students to begin putting together their boards. Each team of students were given 45 mins to fill an A1 poster board showcasing their app, IoT or machine learning idea to be displayed for the Marketplace where the judges would review each of them and choose their winner. The room was filled with bustling energy as the students cut, coloured and put together their boards while nervously practicing their pitches with encouragement from their teachers. 

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The Marketplace was filled with a wide array of  ideas like the ‘Child Safety and Tracker’ app that helps parents keep track of their wandering toddlers by using a pin that is linked to the parent’s phone. Another team’s app was the ‘FNF- Fake News Finder’ aiming to combat the growing problem of fake news shared on social media by assessing the stories source and topic.

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The judges were volunteers from BNY Mellon, who were supporting the event, they were tasked with choosing the product that they felt best addressed the identified problem. Andrew Gobourn from BNY Mellon said “I am just amazed by the quality of work presented here.” With so many fantastic ideas, the judges had the tough job of picking who would win the regional prize.

Winning team, Epicpen  from Dunoon Grammar School, created a smart EpiPen which alerts both the users emergency contact and emergency services if their EpiPen is used, using what3word geolocation to pinpoint where they are. Epicpen will also automatically reorder their pen if the pen is nearly run out or close to its expiration date. When asked about the day and what they learned, the team said “Presenting our ideas helped us to be more confident speaking to others and to not be so shy. The day gave us good practice for London. We’re really excited to be going.”  

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Heather Picov, CEO of Apps for Good, said “We are delighted to be hosting our fourth Scottish Regional Event, celebrating the talent and creativity of young people here. Each year, the quality of the products presented by students gets even better. Scotland’s young people are passionate about making a difference and helping their communities. These students are truly inspirational and prove that the future is in safe hands.”

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The winning team is now fast tracked to the London event but this isn’t the only chance for students to enter the London competitions. If your students have completed our course and have a great idea for an app they can still enter using this form – https://www.appsforgood.org/awards

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