SYSTEM, a free app development programme for transition year students was launched by the CEIA — Cork’s Technology Network. The organisation, which represents the tech and manufacturing sectors in the Cork region, is committed to providing free programmes to encourage more students into science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
SySTEM runs for a 12-week period and equips teams of students with the skills to develop an educational gaming app which will be live in the App Store and Android marketplace. During the SySTEM programme, students attend workshops focused on project management, app-development technology, design, marketing and sales and participate in a competition for the best SySTEM app.
“Students, both boys and girls, really enjoy the creativity that app development allows, along with the challenge of coding and fun of using their own app. This is the second year of the SySTEM programme, and interest from schools has been very strong,” said Valerie Cowman, skills and education chair, CEIA.
The CEIA provide free training workshops for participating teachers also, with each team being assigned an industry mentor, who supports the students with firsthand knowledge and advice in the run up to the competition final, which takes place on November 29.
“The SySTEM programme and competition is about team work, skills across a diverse range and fun! The teams of up to eight students have to work together to come up with a game concept but also assign roles such as a project manager, app developer, graphic designer, financial controller and sales and marketing,” said Dr Eamon Connolly, electrical and electronic engineering promotion officer, CEIA.
The CEIA Skills and Education Group promotes STEM education to students from the ages of 10-18 through a number of volunteer programmes.