Video: Young Scots impress Dragon’s Den style contest with politics app

Konrad Szewczyk, 15,  and John Sutherland, 14, from Wick Academy's winning team
Konrad Szewczyk, 15, and John Sutherland, 14, from Wick Academy's winning team
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A group of Scottish school pupils have won a national award for designing an app that makes politics more accessible to young people.

The students from Wick High School yesterday travelled to London for the launch of ‘One Click Politics’ after winning their category in the Dragon’s Den-style competition Apps for Good.

One Click Politics was designed to boost interest in the subject between 12 and 18-year-olds with a promise of easy-to-access unbiased information.

The school team impressed a 14-strong team of highly influential technology experts, including Skyscanner chairman Margaret Rice-Jones and Kip Meek, senior adviser at telecoms company EE, to take the prize.

This is the third year in a row that pupils from Wick Academy have excelled in the contest.

The pupils also did an excellent ‘news report’ themselves about the app

I am personally very proud of all our team...they have shown real focus and dedication

Chris Aitken, computer science teacher at Wick Academy

Chris Aitken, computer science teacher at Wick High School, said: “I am personally very proud of all our teams that have taken part this year. They have shown real focus and dedication and I am sure they will use the skills they’ve learned in their future school career and beyond. I really hope that this experience will encourage them to choose careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

Since the summer, the team has been working with agency partners to develop their concept professionally and the app will be available to download from Google’s Play Store this week.

Apps for Good is a course taught in schools and gives students the opportunity to work through all stages of development from idea generation and research to development, promotion and business planning.

Since launching in 2010, the course has been delivered to over 50,000 students in more than 1,000 schools globally.

READ MORE: One in 25 Scots now in tech jobs

At the end of the programme, teams are able to enter their apps into a nation-wide competition, with the opportunity to pitch to a panel of high-profile industry experts.

Wick Academy was the first school in Scotland to take part.

Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages, said: “Taking part in a competition like this is an excellent way to show the real practical application of what is being learned in the classroom.

“This is important in all subjects, but can really bring STEM alive for pupils. I would like to congratulate the pupils and staff of Wick High School for winning through and wish them all the best for the launch of their app.”

This month, Skills Development Scotland and youth charity Young Scot will hit the road for Discovering Digital World, a series of events to inspire the digital technology professionals of the future.

Claire Gillespie, of Skills Development Scotland, said: “The great thing about Apps for Good is that it gets young people excited about the potential for digital technology to make a difference at the same time as learning much sought after skills

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