Pupils from Arisaig Primary School have been announced as winners of a dragon’s den style competition to design apps that solve real-world problems.
At the Highlands and Islands ‘Apps for Good’ finals apps designed by schools from across the region were submitted to a panel of judges which met at UHI’s executive office in Inverness.
Almost thirty schools, from Orkney to Arran, took part in the project which was organised and led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Arisaig Primary School won the best app produced by a primary schools category.
The winning app called Paddle App aims to show locals and visitors to the area where they can do water sports.
The project has been supported by HIE and funded by Digital Scotland Business Excellence Partnership (DSBEP). Presenting the prizes at the school show on Friday 26th June, Mrs Sarah Winnington – Ingram of Arisaig House and Chair of the Road to the Isles Marketing Group commented “ I am delighted to present the prizes today. It is lovely to see the pupils designing an idea to promote tourism in our area.”
Joyce Maclennan, head of finance and business services at HIE, said: “We were looking for original ideas and well researched and planned projects. Arisaig Primary School were worthy winners developing an app which looked to promote adventure tourism which is such a key aspect of the local economy.
“The pupils used the most up-to-date mobile technology to design and make their products. We would like to thanks all the pupils who took part and congratulate both teams which submitted their ideas.”
Martin Jones, headteacher at Arisaig Primary School, said: “We are absolutely delighted to win the prize for best app created by a primary school in the Highlands and Islands. I am proud of all twelve pupils who took part. They have shown real focus and enthusiasm as well as spending a lot of their own time after school to research ideas and translate them into finished products. The pupils have embraced the opportunity and I am sure they will use the skills they’ve learned in their senior school careers and beyond.
“The children completed two apps creating them on Balsamiq mock up software. The two pitch videos they made were excellent. The three lads who finally came out on top did a great job. Using a wide range of devices and software the project really took these two final groups to the limits of their ability.”
Claire Gillespie, DSBEP programme manager from Skills Development Scotland (SDS) who was a judge at the competition commented: “There is a wealth of opportunities available in Scotland’s digital sector offering exciting, rewarding, and satisfying career opportunities. It’s encouraging to see so many young people with such an insight into this growing part of our economy.
“All of the teams taking part are to be congratulated for showing real dedication and genuine enthusiasm for their apps, and a special congratulations goes to the winners for having developed such an impressive concept.”
Chief dragon Gary I Campbell, key account director of UHI, said: “UHI, as a digitally connected university was delighted with the quality and diversity of the presentations today and we hope to welcome some of these young people as computer scientists of the future.”