Dunoon Grammar School is Apps for Good UK School of the Year

Published Date: 

23 Jun 2017 - 16:24

Dunoon Grammar School has been crowned the Apps for Good UK School of the Year at a prestigious awards ceremony in London.

Pupils and staff from Dunoon Grammar were overwhelmed when they won the title at this year’s final, held in the capital’s Barbican Centre.

But, the celebrations did not stop there. The school also fought off stiff competition from over 25,000 competitors to win the inaugural Internet of Things (IoT) category for its innovative and life-saving SmartStep app.

The app was designed by four of the school’s S1 business and computing students and features a range of ‘smart rugs’ for the home which have inbuilt pressure sensors that can decipher whether the user is standing on the rug or has fallen on it.

The team, made up of Olivia Robertson, Abbi Paul, Caleb MacLeod and Rory Oxland, created a bedside rug that automatically turns on lights when stood on so that elderly people can see if they get out of bed in the night. The rug also senses if someone has fallen and automatically contacts a carer.

The group also designed a SafeStep bath mat and welcome mat – specifically designed for dementia sufferers.

Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education and Lifelong Learning, Yvonne Mcneilly said: “Words cannot express how happy I am for Dunoon Grammar School to win these awards.

“The children who created this app are only in S1, yet they battled it out with 25,000 other youngsters, many of whom were much older, to win not just one award but the overall Apps for Good UK School of the Year title.

“I am absolutely delighted. A lot of hard work has gone into making this possible and credit must also be given to the teachers who helped the children achieve this. I am certain there will be many more awards to come for Dunoon Grammar School’s business and computing department in the future and wish the staff and pupils all the very best.”

Before pitching their idea to industry professionals, the Dunoon pupils spent the morning at Spotify UK’s offices, where they worked with staff to perfect their presentation.

The group then delivered their presentation to a group of IT experts from across the UK, before taking to the Apps for Good ‘Marketplace’ to share their idea with international industry leaders such as, Virgin Red, Samsung, Expedia, Marks and Spencer, GoDaddy and Thomson Reuters.

Ann Marie Knowles, the Council’s Executive Director for Community Services, said: “This is a wonderful achievement. I am hugely impressed by the ground-breaking work that has been done at Dunoon Grammar School. These young people and their supporting teachers were up against the cream of UK talent and their creativity and ingenuity has shone through.

“I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to the talented and hard-working staff and pupils. Very well done.”

 David Mitchell, Head Teacher of Dunoon Grammar School, said: “To be crowned as Apps for Good School of the Year 2017 is a fantastic honour for Dunoon Grammar School.

“I would like to congratulate our young people who have worked on Apps for Good this year. I have been impressed with the creativity and passion they have shown and take great pride with the social dimension they have adopted in the work they have produced.

“In particular, I would like to thank the SafeStep team for winning the inaugural IoT awards category – they have set a high standard for years to come. I would like to thank all at Apps for Good for providing such a rich learning experience for our young people and the industry experts who have provided invaluable support during the process. Also to the judges who selected us for the awards – we are grateful considering the high standard of work that has been produced throughout the UK.

“Finally to the staff in our business and computing department for embracing Apps for Good and supporting our young people with their work. We look forward to building on this success in the years ahead.”

Heather Picov, UK Managing Director of Apps for Good added: “Huge congratulations to the SafeStep team for winning our first ever IoT category. The innovation and talent of all the finalists was impressive.

“The SafeStep team showed an amazing understanding of their users and how their product could help to solve an everyday problem. We were delighted to see their working prototype. We're also thrilled to announce Dunoon Grammar School as Apps for Good School of the Year 2017."