Scottish school students celebrate launch of political app in London

Digital world

 

A group of Scottish school students have turned their creative technology idea into reality after winning a dragon’s den style competition to design apps that solve real world problems.
The students from Wick High School are travelling to London for the official launch of their award-winning app at The Barbican on 4 February alongside six other Apps for Good teams from across the UK.
Wick High School’s One Click Politics app, which is designed to get young people tuned in to the political world, won the ‘Information’ category at the national Apps for Good Awards in June 2015.

Since then, the team has been working with agency partners to develop their concept professionally and the app will be available to download from Google’s Play Store this week.

The Apps for Good competition was judged by a panel of 14 highly respected ‘Dragons’ including: Skyscanner chairman Margaret Rice-Jones; Jemima Kiss, head of technology at The Guardian; Kip Meek, senior adviser at EE; and BBC Apprentice Winner 2012, Ricky Martin.

Apps for Good is a course delivered by teachers during the academic year and gives students the opportunity to work through all stages of development from idea generation and research to development, promotion and business planning. Since launching in 2010, the course has been delivered to over 50,000 students in more than 1,000 schools globally.

Konrad Szewczyk and John Sutherland

 

At the end of the programme, teams are able to enter their apps into a nation-wide competition, with the opportunity to pitch to a panel of high-profile industry experts.

One Click Politics was one of three teams from Wick shortlisted to present their ideas to experts from the IT industry. The school was the first in Scotland to take part and its pupils have won categories at the national finals for three consecutive years.

Wick High School Computer Science teacher, Chris Aitken, said: “I am personally very proud of all our teams that have taken part this year. They have shown real focus and dedication and I am sure they use the skills they’ve learned in their future school career and beyond. I really hope that this experience will encourage them to choose careers in STEM subjects.”

Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages, said: “Taking part in a competition like this is an excellent way to show the real practical application of what is being learned in the classroom. This is important in all subjects, but can really bring STEM alive for pupils. I would like to congratulate the pupils and staff of Wick High School for winning through and wish them all the best for the launch of their app.”

Inspiring the next generation

The Apps for Good programme has the backing of Digital World, a campaign to promote careers in the digital technology industry, which has been developed by the sector in partnership with Skills Development Scotland.

From February, Skills Development Scotland and youth charity Young Scot will be hitting the road for Discovering Digital World, a series of events to inspire the digital technology professionals of the future.

As well as hosting workshops and master classes for school pupils, the roadshow will feature events for parents to help them understand the opportunities in the industry.

Apps for Good

 

Claire Gillespie, Key Sector Manager for ICT and Digital Technologies at Skills Development Scotland, said: “The great thing about Apps for Good is that it gets young people excited about the potential for digital technology to make a difference at the same time as learning much sought after skills.

“One of the aims of the Digital World campaign is to address the gender imbalance in tech so it is incredibly encouraging to see that Apps for Good, with its emphasis on design and creativity, has helped raise the numbers of girls taking part in Computing classes at Wick to 40 per cent.

“I am hopeful that our Discovering Digital World events will give even more young people a taste for digital and will inspire the next winners of the Apps for Good competition.”

Joyce Maclennan, HIE’s head of finance and business service, said: “Thanks to funding from Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership we worked with schools across the Highlands and Islands from Orkney to Arran to promote Apps for Good. We are delighted to see Wick High School’s achievements recognised nationally again. We hope projects like this will encourage young people to study and work in the ICT and Digital Technologies sector.”

A Skills Investment Plan for Scotland’s ICT and Digital Technologies Sector was launched in 2014, backed by £6.6 million from the Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership. The plan identified the potential for 11,000 job opportunities in Scotland each year until 2020, often paying well above average.

http://www.appsforgood.org/public/awards/2015/one-click-politics

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