National Apps for Good hat-trick for Dunoon Grammar pupils

Published Date: 

4 Mar 2019 - 14:59

A group of pupils from Dunoon Grammar have scooped the top prize in a national competition for the third year running.

The business and computing pupils beat off stiff competition from across Scotland when they won the Apps for Good Scotland event again, with a further two teams from Dunoon Grammar also sharing third prize.

This is the third time running that pupils from the school have claimed the top prize at the event, which attracts industry experts from across the UK to visit and vote for their favourite ideas.

Apps for Good is a scheme that 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, over 20 teams pitched their app ideas to visiting experts. The Dunoon pupils and staff were delighted to hear that, not only had they won the top prize, but two teams had also tied for third place.

The winning idea was 'Carbon Kicker', a machine learning solution that helps to assess and reduce the user’s carbon footprint. The team, consisting of S3 pupils Caleb MacLeod, Kameron Smith, Theo Wheatley and Tommi McGunnigal designed and coded a working prototype of their idea that visitors to the event could experience.

Third prize was shared by S1 pupils Eilidh Mitchell, Brooke McDonald and Stephanie Laidlaw for their design of ‘Frosty’ - a device that defrosts car windscreens automatically - and ‘Paws and Relax’ – a creation which allows users to identify the perfect pet to fit their needs and lifestyle. This was designed by S3 pupils Toby Bedding-Stark, Ben Lauder, Joshua Dominick and Ryan Stewart.

Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, said: “I am utterly speechless - the pupils at Dunoon Grammar are truly excelling, putting Argyll and Bute on the map in the process.

“To win the Apps for Good national event once is great, to win it twice is amazing, but to win it three times in a row is truly phenomenal.

“I was incredibly honoured to be invited along to the school recently to see some of the work that’s going on, and to look at the Apps for Good creations that the young people have made.

“I was blown away by the talent the school has and I am so proud of each and every one of the pupils. Special mention must also be made to the staff who help guide our young people on their learning journey, particularly Paul Gallanagh, who has taken the school’s business and computing department from strength to strength. Well done everyone.”

David Mitchell, Head Teacher at Dunoon Grammar said: “We are honoured and delighted to have again won the Apps for Good Scotland national event. 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. They offer us a rich context for our young people to learn coding.

“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. It is an outstanding achievement that our pupils have won this national award three years in succession”.

This latest achievement adds to an extraordinary 12 months of success for Dunoon Grammar pupils working in the Business and Computing department in national and UK wide initiatives. This includes best pop-up shop in the UK wide ‘Tenner Challenge’; winners of the UK School of Marketing Ice-Cream Dream competition that attracted entrants from across the globe; and the Subway ‘Design a Sub’ promotional challenge which will see a sub produced by pupils sold in Scottish Subway stores. The school was also crowned Apps for Good UK School of the Year in 2017.

Paul Gallanagh, Principal Teacher of Business and Computing at Dunoon Grammar School said: “Our pupils are going toe-to-toe with Britain’s best in a range of rich, real and relevant learning experiences… and winning.

"We are extremely lucky to have such talented, hard-working and creative young people. Our recent success is down to the synergy brought from team working – pupils, staff, parents and our local community. I would like to thank the national organisations, such as Apps for Good, who offer us these creative forums for our young people to flourish and thrive”.