Dunoon pupils are national winners for fourth year running

Published Date: 

12 Mar 2020 - 11:12

A group of pupils from Dunoon Grammar School beat off stiff competition from across the country to win the Apps for Good Scotland event for the fourth year in a row. 

Apps for Good is an education scheme that is empowering young people to change the world with technology. The competition challenges pupils to work in teams to develop an enterprising technology product that will help to solve issues they care about. 

The event was held in Edinburgh’s Dovecot Studios, where teams pitched their ideas to a panel of expert judges. Three teams from Dunoon Grammar School participated, showcasing their Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine Learning ideas and proof of concept prototypes. 

The winning idea was epicpen, a smart auto injection pen which contacts emergency services and loved ones if a user is taking an anaphylactic shock. Epicpen also automatically reorders a new injector pen when close to expiry. The S1 team behind epicpen were Ruaridh Mitchell, Jaydon Wallace, Ross Weir and James Cameron, and they will now travel to London in June to take on Britain’s best in the annual Apps for Good UK finals. 

James, who thought up the idea to help a friend who carries an auto injection pen, said: “We were surprised to hear our names being announced as the winners of this year’s national event. There were many great ideas from across Scotland being shared and for ours to be picked as the winner was great! We had spent a lot of time developing our idea, during class time and at lunchtimes. Qualifying for the London UK finals is an exciting opportunity and we are already working on making our epicpen even better by the time June comes around.” 

Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, said: “I am utterly over the moon for Dunoon Grammar School, especially the team of young people team who will represent us at the UK final in London in June. Dunoon Grammar continues to go from strength to strength and its pupils and staff are a true credit to Argyll and Bute. 

“The idea behind the epicpen is fantastic. Initiatives such as this help our young people to become more involved in STEM subjects and helps to create a generation of problem solvers. I thought that things couldn’t get any better for Dunoon Grammar when they were declared the UK’s European Entrepreneurial School of the Year in 2019 but, if this recent win is anything to go by, we can expect to see even more success stories from the school in 2020. Well done everyone.” 

David Mitchell, Head Teacher of Dunoon Grammar School added: “We are honoured and delighted to have again won the 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 in 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 four years in succession”. 

Paul Gallanagh, Principal Teacher of Business and Computing added: “The creativity and innovation from our young people working on the Apps for Good initiative never ceases to amaze me. We were delighted to learn that Team epicpen had scooped the top prize at this year’s national event in Edinburgh. Apps for Good brings the best out of our young people and provides a really rich context for them to not only learn about emerging technologies, but to also generate and code their own ideas. We wish team epicpen the best of luck.”