A group of Highland school students who won a dragon’s den style competition to design apps are travelling to London for the official launch of their award-winning entry.
The students from Wick High School are at The Barbican today (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.
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.”
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.”
HIE’s digital team visited the Wick pupils to hear their inspirational story. See the film here.
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. There are events in Oban and Inverness in the Highlands.
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.
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.