Our Lady of the Nativity students develop apps to educate about poverty and global warming

App developers: Pictured at the app presentation at Our Lady of the Nativity school are (back) principal Lisa Samojlowicz, teacher librarian and coach Maree Crawford, executive director of schools Parramatta CEO Greg Whitby, Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle, coach Joshua McKinnon. (Middle) Lillie Hughes, Bridgette Neal, Mikayla Goodwin. (Front) Chelsea McKinnon, Gabe Munro, Elizabeth Kerr.
App developers: Pictured at the app presentation at Our Lady of the Nativity school are (back) principal Lisa Samojlowicz, teacher librarian and coach Maree Crawford, executive director of schools Parramatta CEO Greg Whitby, Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle, coach Joshua McKinnon. (Middle) Lillie Hughes, Bridgette Neal, Mikayla Goodwin. (Front) Chelsea McKinnon, Gabe Munro, Elizabeth Kerr.

Girls from Lawson primary school Our Lady of the Nativity have developed two apps that could take them on a tour of Silicon Valley.

The first app is called Outshine the Sun and is to teach kids about global warming and what they can do to stop it. The second app called Figures of Hope, is to educate kids about poverty and the joy of giving.

The apps represent about 90 hours of work each for these 10 and 11 years olds.

The students had entered the app building competition Tech Girls Are Superheroes, which encourage girls aged eight to 14 to consider a career in the STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] field.

The girls had to solve a problem in the local area and align it to one of the 17 United Nations development goals.

The girls learn the basics of computer programming, coming up with a mobile app business idea, writing a business plan, testing the idea, developing a prototype and pitching it on YouTube.

This is the school’s second year entering the competition. Last year their students were equal NSW runners-up.

Girls from one team spoke to the head CSIRO research scientist about his work and he endorsed their app. They are in the process of getting an article in Double Helix, the CSIRO magazine for schools. 

Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle launched the apps at the school on August 21.

This year 250 teams from Australia and New Zealand entered the competition. NSW winners will be announced on September 2.

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