Global technology giant challenge Cambridge children to design apps that will change the world
Last week, Arm Ltd and Cambridge LaunchPad challenged 25 Year 8 students to design and develop innovative, new apps. The students from Coleridge Community College, North Cambridge Academy, Parkside Community College, Comberton Village College and the Cambridgeshire Home Educating Families (CHEF) developed unique ideas, ranging from an app to find suitable jobs based on qualifications, an allergen and health tracker and a PokemonGo-style game to identify park equipment that needs replacing by local councils.
Over 600 students from these schools had submitted ideas for apps that would help solve one of the 17 global goals set by the UN to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. One team from each school were then selected by Arm to attend this special event at their global headquarters in Cambridge.
Euan Willder, Head of Science at Comberton Village College, said
“The Launchpad day at Arm was a fantastic opportunity for our students to experience a truly STEM based project. Creating and designing an app using very intuitive mediums gave students drive, focus and motivation to cover a range of important skills that are difficult to cover in normal lessons. The project was pitched at a challenging yet appropriate level and the interdisciplinary nature of it will really help our students in the future. Despite giving a timid presentation, our schools students will have learnt a great deal from this experience.”
Throughout the day, the students had the opportunity to learn about the app development process from design and branding through to prototyping and testing. Volunteers from #TeamArm helped the students to refine their app ideas, design logos in LogoMakr, mock-up the app’s home page and build a working prototype in Proto.io.
The team of Year 8 students from Parkside Community College, enjoyed the chance to think creatively:
“We really liked using all the different tools to be creative and they were easy to learn – we knew nothing about designing logos or making apps before today. It’s been fantastic to meet experts in their field so that we can ask them about the different jobs in STEM and learn from real people who work here – it’s really cool!”
The teams pitched their apps to a panel of experts, sharing their considerations for their product’s unique selling point (USP), target audience and costs, as well as mapping the user journey and creating a minimum viable product (MVP).
Crisis Comeback, the team from CHEF, astounded the Arm judges with the creativity, sophistication and usability of their app that is designed to educate people on what to do in the event of a natural disaster and up-to-date risks in their area of the world. The students hoped that their app idea would particularly benefit those in a less economically developed country.
Molly Askham, STEM Outreach Co-ordinator from Form the Future CIC, said:
“Today the students were able to meet a wide variety of professionals of different ages and backgrounds. This allowed them to better understand the huge number of roles that are available in the industry and inspire them to see themselves in these jobs in the future. Speaking to the ambassadors was not only a great opportunity for them to inspire the next generation, but also for them to develop their professional skills whilst having fun! The team at Arm are so passionate about encouraging young people to fulfil their potential and it really showed through their interactions with each team.”
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