Girls in Tech: how Katie fell in love with coding

Katie is a creator of I’m Okay, which she designed with her team during the Apps for Good course at Stratford Girls’ Grammar School in the West Midlands. After winning the 2014 Apps for Good Awards, I’m Okay won the Tech for Good Awards and were finalists for the BBC Radio 1 Teen Hero Awards. Below, Katie shares how she’s become inspired by a future in computing.

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Girls in Tech: how Ellora made her idea a reality

Ellora is a creator of Envirocache, which she designed with her team during the Apps for Good course at Wick High School in Scotland. Since the course, Ellora has been working hard to transform her app idea into a reality. Ellora is a finalist for the 2017 FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards. Below, Ellora explains how she gained the confidence to pursue her idea.

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Improving your Apps for Good journey: introducing our new Student Dashboard

We’re delighted to announce the arrival of our brand new Student Dashboard! What can your students expect as they get started on their adventure?

Apps for Good students in the UK can get ready to…

Compete to have their apps built and launched to market

Students can discover and enter our UK competition, where all finalists get to travel to London and winners have their apps professionally built.

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Explore the course materials and learn at their own pace

Students can explore lessons at their own pace, visiting the dashboard to watch videos, download presentations, and complete extension activities.

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Join The Fellowship

Students can join The Fellowship to access advice from tech professionals, alerts when work experiences become available, and much more.

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How do students sign up?

  • Students will need a code to register. Teachers must create a code, then ask their students to sign up using this form.
  • Former Apps for Good students can become Fellows by signing up for the Dashboard.
  • If you are an Apps for Good partner and you’re interested in a tour of the Student Dashboard, get in touch.

Questions? Email fellows@appsforgood.org

weKonnekt celebrate Teen Hero nomination at BBC studios

Hasan, Shayaan, Shakil, Itesham and Luay created weKonnekt – an app which helps young carers across the UK.  Since winning the People’s Choice category at the Apps for Good Awards 2015 the team have continued to promote their app and have also taken part in a number of exciting opportunities. Recently they were shortlisted for the Make it Digital Award at the Radio 1 Teen Hero Awards, in this blog they tell us about the experience. 

Several weeks ago, we got some exciting news – out of hundreds of nominations, our team was one of just three that had been shortlisted for this year’s Radio 1 Teen Hero Make It Digital Award. The award celebrates young people who are making a difference to the world through the innovative use of technology. On Tuesday 18th October, we got to spend an incredible day at the BBC, touring both the News and Radio 1 studios and working with a BBC producer and professional camera crew to create a film (check it out below) for Radio 1’s YouTube channel.

In the morning, we met the other inspiring nominees in all the Teen Hero Award categories, including the Apps For Good award-winning girls whose app ‘I’m Okay’ had proved an inspiration in the early days of developing our own app. After getting to know each other, it was time to meet some DJs, including Greg James, Scott and Chris and Nick Grimshaw, who suggested that we should form a boy band!  Continue reading

Exploring possibilities at SAP

Tasneem is an Apps for Good Fellow from Luton. Last week, Tasneem visited SAP UK for an inspiring Work Experience Day. Here she shares her thoughts:

A day in the life with SAP
I’ve never taken part in a work experience before, and I didn’t expect to any time soon, let alone in a well reputable company in London called SAP. Founded in Germany, 1972, it manufactures software for businesses, tailoring to their needs and helps support services for their customers. This month we got the opportunity to visit the SAP UK office for ourselves and venture into the world of work and see what things are like behind the scenes.

At first, we played a fun game and learnt many interesting facts about SAP. For instance, the company’s customers produce around 72% of the world’s chocolate! We also learned that the company work with McLaren – there was even a cool interactive room in the office with a F1 car and a simulator!

Exploring possibilities with the SAP Internship Programme
Next, we got the chance to meet the latest SAP interns! They were super nice and told us how the application and interview process worked. Extremely valuable information was provided such as their experience, what they have learnt and how crucial time management is.

Solving problems with spaghetti
CpVG7oxXEAAIpOIAfter that session, we were introduced to Design Thinking- a creative and clever way of coming up with solutions to problems. Provided with just 20 sticks of spaghetti, tape, string and a marshmallow, we went ahead in completing the marshmallow challenge: building the highest free standing structure. At first, it was quite challenging as you had to think hard about how sticks that look so fragile can support a marshmallow! It seems unlikely, but with teamwork, determination and your imagination, it was certainly possible.

Trying real world tools
CpVz1CDXgAQoSKkI’m sure you’ve all heard of Green Screen Technology, that provides visual effects and animated backgrounds. Well, SAP had a Virtual Studio that uses it, where we got the opportunity to create a Video CV to take home with us! It was definitely a really unique and special aspect, and the CV will help me in the future when I apply to jobs.

We were also introduced to a software that SAP has designed so that it’s customers can add their own touches to their websites and products. We were taught how to use and prototype an app to to solve a challenge around the Rio Olympics. At the end of the day, we presented our ideas to the SAP Dragons. This was the best part of the day! It was interesting to see how the skills we learned with the Apps for Good course transferred to this challenge, and we got to use all of the problem-solving skills we practiced throughout the day!

Building skills for the future
This day has taught me that with hard work, anything is possible. I’ve also learned that technology has revolutionised dramatically and with the marshmallow challenge, I learned to never give up and to carry on.

I was so happy to get this chance to visit SAP. It was incredibly useful to know just how many positions are available in companies today, and how all these roles work together. This experience and knowledge has helped me to broaden my horizon greatly. I think it’s extremely important that other young people get opportunities like these, so we can understand how to build up the skills that can help them in the future.

Are you interested in getting more from your Apps for Good experience? Join the Fellowship and keep up to date with lots of exciting opportunities. 

Apps for Good reveals opportunities you didn’t even know existed

Tasneem took the Apps for Good course last year as part of a club in her school. Since finishing the course she has joined The Fellowship, where she speaks at events and shares her experience. Below, Tasneem reflects on her Apps for Good journey so far:

Being able to design an app seemed fascinating 

I’ve wanted to do Apps for Good ever since hearing about it last year in my school. I didn’t get the chance to do it last year, but after talking to other students, I had a feeling that I would find it interesting. Being able to design an app seemed pretty fascinating to me.

This year I applied to take the course, and was happy to be selected as a Team Leader! I’ve never taken on leadership role before. I wondered how I would do, who would be in my group, if we’d all get along, and if we’d be able to make decision together. More than anything, I was excited for it to begin.

In the beginning, my group had dissimilar app ideas. Three of our teammates wanted to create an app helping teens with anger issues, and two of us wanted to create an app to support the elderly. At that point, it seemed our best choice was to divide the group and work on the two ideas separately.

We had to do a lot of work

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Tasneem leading her team as they present their Apps for Good idea to a panel of judges.

In February our school held a Dragon’s Den session where we presented to industry experts, school staff and members of the Apps for Good team. To prepare for this, we had to do a lot of work!

We created a slide show, marketing plans and an elevator pitch describing our app features and business model. We also worked on our App Shed prototype. The judges provided excellent feedback, and the session really helped us to prepare for our Apps for Good competition entry.

My favourite part was researching our users. It was challenging to think about how we would target the app to our audience and ensure they get the best use out of it. Making our pitch film was quite frustrating, as it could only last 1 minute and it was difficult to get the timing right.

Sharing Apps for Good with others

This Spring I went with our teacher and four classmates to the Academies Show at ExCel in London, where we spoke about our Apps for Good experience. The show was for teachers looking to bring technology into the classroom; we presented and spoke about how they could bring Apps for Good to their school. We also had a great time wandering around and were given a lot of free merchandise – like a Brite-Dock phone charger. We were the only students at the entire show!

Seeing things in a different light

At the end of the course we didn’t get shortlisted for an award, but I decided to become an Apps for Good Fellow. The Fellowship is for students want to get the most out of Apps for Good. I’m not yet certain about my plans for the future, but I’m interested in technology. I see it as something I may like to get more involved with in the future.

Overall, Apps for Good has helped me to develop my problem-solving skills, and to think about things in a different light. Apps for Good can reveal many more opportunities that you didn’t even know existed. To anyone just starting the course, I’d say you will learn a lot and it will be great!

To discover more opportunities in tech and entrepreneurship, Apps for Good students can join The Fellowship: https://fellowship.appsforgood.org