Appathon UK partners show support with generous prizes

Appathon UK partners pull together to offer a range of prizes for winning students

Partners of Appathon UK have started to unveil the prizes on offer to students who create the best tech solutions.

Appathon UK is a competition launched by Founders4Schools and SVC2UK which challenges young people to find technology solutions for the challenges around them.

The competition is part of the Create! Campaign, which aims to help students link the science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) skills they are learning at school with creating the IT businesses of the future.

School students are asked to think up an app that could change their lives for the better and submit their idea to the pubic voting platform by 9 October. 

University students will form teams in October to build the favourite app ideas into working prototypes. 

In November, the app prototypes will be judged by various Appathon partners and sponsors. Supporting partners include Apps for Good, Behind the Screen, TeenTech and Young Rewired State, Codecademy, Decoded, Code Club, iDEA, Kano, Raspberry Pi Foundation, Microsoft and Cambridge University Press UK Schools.

Winners' prizes offered by partners so far are:

  • TBC Digital will invite a winner to its offices for a day to plan a new gaming app which will then be published by Poptacular and launched on the Apple and Google Play app stores;
  • RBS will host dinners for the winning students around the UK;
  • Kano Computing will provide three Kano kits for winning students/teams and will also invite a student for a week of work experience and lunch with the founder;
  • Codecademy will run five workshops for 15 students each (75 students in total) in December;
  • MindCandy has offered a tour of the MindCandy office;
  • The BBC will host a tour of its London headquarters;
  • Impart IQ will build the winning school an app;
  • Google will fly a winner to Silicon Valley to spend a day at its Mountain View Campus;
  • LinkedIn will fly a winner to Silicon Valley to spend a day at its Mountain View Campus;
  • Technology Will Save Us will give 20 winners a DIY technology kit and a further 20 winners will get a tour of its London headquarters, followed by a talk from its CEO and co-founder.  

Winning teams will also be invited to an awards ceremony at the House of Commons during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Sherry Coutu, chairman of Founders4Schools, is leading the competition. 

"I am very excited to announce the launch of the Appathon UK competition and celebrate the generosity of our sponsors. It is important to address the digital skills crisis and to reward those students participating," she said.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for school and university students to be inspired about how they can influence our world. Giving the students the ability to celebrate their achievement at the House of Commons or launching their own game in the app store is a truly amazing opportunity," Coutu added.

Rachel Swidenbank, head of UK operations for Codecademy, said the Appathon is a great initiative for children to get involved and learn how they can be creators of technology, not just in future careers, but right now as students.

"Codecademy is proud to partner with Appathon and looks forward to seeing the impact this has on children's perceptions of technology and what can be achieved with a better understanding of it," she added.

Kerensa Jennings, head of strategic delivery at the BBC, said the broadcaster wanted to shine a light on the world of digital. 

"It's great to play a part in the Appathon UK, which is bringing so many companies together to combine efforts," said Jennings.

"To partner is a key part of our digital approach this year and next. It will enable us to reach a wide group of young people, but also to be in role where we can amplify what so many of these other great partners are doing too," she added.

The BBC recently announced its coding and digital creativity initiative theme for 2015, with the aim of inspiring a generation to consider careers in IT by getting creative with coding, programming and digital technology.

BBC Children and BBC Learning also unveiled education resources to coincide with the launch of the new computing curriculum in UK primary and secondary schools at the beginning of September.

Computer Weekly is an Appathon UK partner, and will be following the competition through until the awards ceremony in November.

A full list of partners can be found here, along with more information on how to enter.

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