Friday, 25 May 2012

Cookstown High School 'Eco Smart'

Daniel Brown, Joel Glendinning, Anona Weir and Rachel Woodward, members of the 'Outside the Box' team who designed the winning app,
Eco Smart at the Universty of Ulster's 'App Camp'.

An innovative outreach project by the University of Ulster to promote STEM subjects (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) to secondary schools has helped pupils from Cookstown High School think ‘outside the box’ to come up with a novel solution to recycling.

Around 80 Year 11 and 12 pupils from 10 different schools across Northern Ireland took part in the University’s first ever WiCADET camp (Widening Access through Computing Apps Development Training. During the 10 week ‘app camp’, teams each had to design a new market ready computer app.

Cookstown High School’s team, ‘Outside the Box’, made up of team members Daniel Brown, Joel Glendinning, Anona Weir and Rachel Woodward and their mentor, Jennifer Gillespie, came up trumps with their recycling app, ‘Eco Smart’ to lift the coveted App Camp 2012 top prize award.

Their award winning app ‘Eco Smart’ has already generated interest among local councils keen to promote recycling. PhD student, Jennifer Gillespie, who mentored the winning Outside the Box team, explains that the aim of the app was to create greater awareness among the general public about the importance of recycling.

“We did some initial research to get a better understanding as to why some people do not recycle and took this into account when developing the app.

“The app includes an information page explaining what items of rubbish to place in the different coloured bins; a video showing the importance of recycling; and a ‘drag and drop’ game to aid understanding. It also includes links to other local councils, recycling websites and Google maps to indicate the nearest recycling points.”Outside the Box’s award winning app, Eco Smart is a free app which can now be downloaded from the Android

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