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Students reach the final of UK app building competition

5 June 2015
A team of students has beaten over 600 schools from across the country to be announced as a Finalist in the ­­Apps for Good Awards 2015, to be held on 18 June at the Barbican in London.
 
The national Apps for Good Awards celebrate the next generation of problem solvers and digital makers: young people who are creating apps to change their world for good. This year, 18 finalist teams have been selected to compete for the chance to have their app developed and launched on the market.
 
In addition, Denbigh High School has been named the School of the Year, one of the Impact Prizes at the Apps for Good Awards. The Impact Prizes, powered by SapientNitro, recognises the teacher, fellow, school and expert who have made the biggest impact by supporting the student teams and the Apps for Good movement.
 
Our students’ app, Who Cares? has been shortlisted in the Sustainable Communities category powered by Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, one of six thematic categories for the 2015 awards. The app is designed to support young carers in the UK.
 
Carers Week has just started and runs from the 8th to the 14th June and the Denbigh students have received strong messages of support from organisations like Young Carers Bedfordshire and the Carers Trust.
 
Denbigh High School is being recognized for our commitment to improving student character and embracing technology across the curriculum. Led by Emma Darcy, Director of Technology for Learning, Denbigh High School has been an Apps for Good Education Partner since 2013. The students who have participated in the programme have seen impressive results in behaviour with disengaged students becoming more focused and motivated, and attendance and behaviour improving across their classes. As part of the programme, the school has been able to use an exciting range of new technology that has now been integrated across the curriculum.
 
The finalist teams from across the UK will now move forward to the awards to pitch their apps in front of a panel of expert judges, comprised of industry leaders and high profile figures, including: Margaret Rice-Jones, Chairman of Skyscanner; Ricky Martin, Managing Director HRS & BBC Apprentice Winner 2012; and Jemima Kiss, The Guardian’s Head of Technology. Ahead of the judging, the students will spend time in the offices of some of the UK’s leading Tech City companies, acting as ‘accelerators’ to help the teams prepare to face the judges.
 
The finalist teams are also up for the People’s Choice Award, which is selected by an online vote held from 9-18 June. During this time members of the public can vote for their favourite app at appsforgood.org/public/awards/2015/peoples-choice.
 
The winning team in each category and the People’s Choice Award will work with a professional development agency to launch their app on the market, supported by Apps for Good and their category sponsor.
 
Colin Townsend, Acting Principal at Denbigh High School, said;
 
“Apps for Good enables us to develop students’ skills in teamwork, problem solving and communication and build their confidence and character. The Apps for Good programme has encouraged our students to explore technology and use it to solve problems they care about. We are incredibly proud of the students behind "Who Cares?" and we are delighted to see them named as finalists in the Apps for Good Awards."
 
Debbie Forster, co-CEO of Apps for Good explains:
 
“We’d like to offer our congratulations to the team behind Who Cares? at Denbigh High School on becoming a finalist and all their efforts and achievements so far! At Apps for Good we want to change technology education: to turn young tech consumers into tech creators and prepare them to tackle the 21st century workplace. Our course teaches not only digital skills, but also arms students with essential real-world skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, confidence and resilience. The innovation displayed in this year’s entries demonstrates not just the potential for young people to succeed, but their passion to use technology to change their world for good. We’re looking forward to celebrating their achievements at the Apps for Good Awards, and wish all of the finalists the best of luck!” In reference to Denbigh High School’s Schools win she added “We’d like to offer our congratulations to Denbigh High School on becoming our School of the Year. The school has achieved fantastic results teaching the Apps for Good course using it to encourage and inspire under-achieving students and also embracing the use of technology across the school.”
 
The winning apps will be announced at the Apps for Good Awards Ceremony taking place, from 7.30pm - 8.30pm on 18 June at the Barbican, London. This ceremony will be preceded by a Marketplace between 6.00pm -7.30pm where invited guests and members of the press will have the opportunity to meet the students and hear about their apps.