Dunoon pupils scoop top award at national event

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Published Date: 

21 Mar 2017 - 17:04

A group of pupils from Dunoon Grammar School excelled in a national event last week when they scooped the top prize.

S1 students from the school’s business and computing department beat off stiff competition from across Scotland when they won Apps for Good’s first ever Scottish event.

Apps for Good is an education scheme that is empowering young people to change their world with technology. The scheme aims to build a global generation of problem solvers and works in partnership with schools and learning centres to deliver courses to young people aged between eight and 18 years old. Pupils work in teams to find issues they care about and think about how they can solve them.

At the event in Edinburgh’s Quincentenary Conference Centre, over 100 students took part in a number of workshops to create an Internet of Things (IOT) device. An IOT is an everyday object that can be connected to the internet to improve control and the experience to end users.

Two S1 teams represented Dunoon Grammar School, with one of the groups winning the overall trophy for their ingenious SafeStep idea.

This group was made up of Olivia Robertson, Rory Oxland, Caleb MacLeod and Abbi Paul. Their idea was to create a range of everyday ‘Smart Rugs’ for the home.

‘Smart Rugs’ have inbuilt pressure sensors that can decipher whether the user is standing on the rug or has fallen on it. SafeStep includes a bedside rug that when stood on will automatically switch on lights in the bedroom, hallway and bathroom. This reduces the risk of elderly users falling and hurting themselves during the night. If the rug senses that someone has fallen on the rug then a carer is notified on the SafeStep app and the carer can make contact to make sure everything is okay. The pupils also created a SafeStep bath mat and welcome mat – specifically designed for dementia sufferers.

The second group created “SmartHat” – a range of smart 50+ upf sun hats. With 95-99% of skin cancers caused by UV rays, SmartHats warns users and parents of the dangers of sitting too long in the sun. This group was made up of Lauren Devlin, Erin McGuinness, Annie Liddell and Morven Laycock. Amaidh Stoddart, an S2 piper from the school also opened the event.

David Mitchell, Head Teacher of Dunoon Grammar School said: “We are honoured and delighted to have won the inaugural Apps for Good Scotland competition. I am extremely proud of all the pupils concerned.

“I would like to thank Apps for Good for offering this rich, active and creative learning experience and for inviting our teams to be involved in this national showcase.

“I would also like to thank the staff of our Business and Computing Department who have supported our young people throughout this innovative and exciting experience, helping the pupils involved to maximise their potential. We look forward to building on this success next year.”