St Bernard’s students enter app competition

St Bernard's Primary School
Year 6 and Year 3 students from St Bernard's Primary School have created ​amazing apps for the annual Tech Girls Superhero Competition

FEMALE students at St Bernard's School, Upper Mt Gravatt, have designed an app to combat low self-esteem in young girls.

After discovering other girls in their school struggled with their appearances, the girls, all aged 11, spent almost 12 weeks outside of school hours designing the app.

Coached by three school staff members, the team, who went by the coding team name Bernie Beetles, are planning to enter their app into the Tech Girls Superhero Competition, an Australian and New Zealand program for girls aged 7 to 17.

It was the first time St Bernard's students had entered the competition, which challenged girls around the w orld to take their STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) skills to the next level by creating an app that would benefit society.

Through a targeted survey, the nine students discovered other girls from their school were facing pressures “to look thin", struggled with their appearance or suffered from anxiety.

Bernie Beetles coach, teacher Vivienne Thompson, said the girls' app would provide young girls “with some strategies and activities to help address low self-esteem".

“The girls targeted this through offering a range of app activities – including recipes, meditation, aspirational quotes and games," she said.

As well as creating the app, the girls were also asked to submit a business plan, pitch, logo and jingle along with the final app, which will be available on Android.

Ms Thompson said the App was created using the programs Thunkable and MIT App inventor.

Another group of eight-year-old girls are also submitting an app addressing environmental issues into the Tech Girls Superhero Competition.

Working with two students from neighbouring Clairvaux MacKillop College, Upper Mount Gravatt, under the team name, Code Monkeys, the students' app encouraged people to pick up litter

Code Monkeys team coach Samantha Khoo said the app, titled LitTerly, incorporated a reward system that “allow users to take photos of litter they have picked up and they can then classify the litter".

The photos can then be uploaded to the app to show the litter and their scores are published on a leader board within the program.

Both teams had the opportunity to develop their ideas with a professional mentor and made plenty of progress with the design and production of their app.

As part of the criteria in the competition, the app must align with one or more of the United Nations Development goals.

The Tech Girls Movement aims to promote gender equality and encourage women to get involved in technology.

Since 2009 more than 15,000 girls have participated from more than 100 countries in the program.

Judging in the competition occurred throughout August with winners announced in September.​

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