Whilst most school children in Wakefield make the finishing touches to their letters for Santa, the kids taking part in this year’s Schools App Challenge have other things on their mind.
Twenty teams of year six pupils, from across twenty local primary schools, have been busy working with West Wakefield Health & Wellbeing and mentors from Microsoft to develop ideas for the next big health app which goes to a public vote from 12 December.
Now in its third year, funded by NHS England and supported by Microsoft, Schools App Challenge is a digital skills, health and wellbeing competition designed to inspire young minds and improve outcomes for 7-11 year olds. You can read more about the journey so far here.
Schools App Challenge 3.0
In-class workshops hosted by West Wakefield’s Disruptive Prevention Lead, Emma Savage together with five Microsoft Skype Mentors sessions have set this year’s teams a tough challenge.
Using cutting-edge app design software known as Microsoft TouchDevelop, the kids have been coming up with ideas, researching the previous winning app concept, Healthy Island as well as looking at other apps available in today’s app stores to see which they like/don’t like and why.
As schools start to wrap up term in time for Christmas, the teams taking part in ‘Schools App Challenge 3.0’ are frantically finishing off their ideas in time for the competition deadline on 09 December.
The teams will be submitting a 300-word description of their app, a video of them presenting their ideas as well as visuals and artwork; much like how apps are pitched in the professional gaming industry itself.
All of the school entries will go live on the Schools App Challenge website: www.schoolsappchallenge.com from 12 December ready for a public vote and expert judging. Votes and judging close on 05 January 2017.
Choosing the winners of Schools App Challenge 3.0
During the festive break, there’ll be little time for present-opening and turkey for these innovators of the future. The pupils, their families and teachers will be actively promoting their entries in the hope of bagging the ‘people’s choice’ winning idea.
Whilst this will play a part, it will be down to a group of local GPs, leading digital academics and local online business owner, Heather Sweeney of Wakefield MUMbler to select the best six entries.
The six lucky finalists will then be invited to present to a Dragon’s Den-style panel of expert judges at an event later in January 2017. This panel will include senior leaders from the Wakefield community as well as industry leaders from Microsoft and Rare Studios who will once again be providing the ‘ultimate’ digital prize for this year’s winners.
How to vote