(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Peninsula
DOHA: As many as 30 students from eight schools gathered at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University Research Complex over the weekend to take part in the YouthMobile Qatar competition, a global initiative launched by Unesco to empower youth to develop mobile apps for the Sustainable Development Goals and implemented for the first time in Qatar.
The YouthMobile Qatar project is a joint initiative by Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), Arab Women in Computing Qatar and Unesco Office for the GCC and Yemen.
The students received a nine-week intensive training on mobile app programming, coding, innovation and entrepreneurship from computer scientists, teachers and coding experts, and were invited to present the mobile apps they created to a large audience and judges.
The theme of the competition was 'Helping My School and its objective is to empower students to find local solutions to the problems they face in schools through mobile technology.
Students from grade eight and seven were tasked with using App Inventor, an open-source web application developed by MIT Media Lab, to design and build mobile apps that could positively improve their school environment and educational experience.
Participating schools included Edison International Academy, Al Bayan Preparatory School for Girls, Al Maha Academy for Girls, Lycee Voltaire, American School of Doha, International School of Choueifat, ACS International School and International School of London.
Opening the competition, Anna Paolini, Unesco Representative to the GCC and Yemen, expressed her enthusiasm to see a large number of projects in Qatar dedicated to developing a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship through technology for young people in the country.
13 judges from key education and tech institutions in Qatar, including the Education Development Institute, Ooredoo, Texas A & M University, Qatar National Research Fund and Arab Women in Computing assessed the inventions of the 16 teams of students.
After students pitched their ideas and demonstrated the functionalities of their mobile apps to the judges, the winners of the competition were announced.
Mohamed Shikfa, from Lycee Voltaire, won the first prize for his app 'My School Assistant which helps students organize their weekly class schedule and mutes their phone when they enter class.
Sara Al Madeed, from Al Maha Academy, came second with her app 'Brainstorm which enables anonymous messaging between students and teachers, including visually impaired students and teachers, to share and receive feedback.
Omar Abdallah and Rami Ayeche, from American School of Doha, won the third place as well as the Audience Choice Award with their app 'Organize A+ which reminds students about their homework and provides easy access to students' notes using a secure cloud storage database.