HI-TECH students at Stratford Girls’ Grammar School are going for a hat-trick after reaching the final of a national competition.
The five strong Team ALTernative’s app Arty-Fact – designed to help students who study art learn more and improve their skills – has been shortlisted in the ‘Learning’ category of the Apps for Good Awards 2015.
The final was set to be held at the Barbican in London as The Observer went to press, and if the team – made up of Eleanor Beckett, Caitlin Bryant, Thaila Commons, Katie Crowfoot and Imy Coane – won, it would be the third time in as many years a team from the Shottery school has scooped victory.
Last year Team Checkmate’s app I’m Okay, which was aimed at providing support and information for young gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, won the information category.
And in 2013, the school produced a national category winner with the Pitch Pals app – designed to help young people tune their musical instruments.
Both apps have since been developed professionally and launched into the app market.
Apps for Good is an education movement aiming to transform the way digital technology is taught in schools – encouraging a new generation to create, launch and market new products that could go on to change the world.
This year’s team is also up for the People’s Choice Award – the winner of which is selected by an online vote.
A team spokesperson said: “It was really enjoyable and we have learnt so many new skills in areas such as business, marketing and technology.
“This has helped us work as a team in an ALTernative way as we were able to create solutions to issues which we think are important to people our age.”
Head of computing and e-learning, Simon Reid, praised the efforts of the girls.
He said: “Yet again I have been overwhelmed by the creative business acumen our students have demonstrated this year, in solving unique problems through the use of technology.
“Team ALTernative had some very stimulating and useful ideas among our other Year 9 cohort to compete against, let alone the competition from hundreds of other schools who entered this year!
“Our students loved the experience and we are incredibly proud of their creation, Arty-Fact, and delighted to see them named as finalists in the awards.”
* CYBORGS to cryptography will be taking over at KES next month.
The Stratford school will be hosting its second annual Computer Science Fair on Saturday July 4.
Fair-goers will get the chance to design their own app or game, create a robot and try out the latest gadgets and gizmos.
Seven to 16 year-olds will have the chance to win Android tablets and Raspberry Pi starter kits and enter the Robot Wars Challenge, while older gamers can get nostalgic in the Retro and Enthusiast Arena.
Entry is free and the fair runs from 11am to 4pm.