Bradley Stoke students reach final of national app design competition

Bradley Stoke Community School students Lisa Millichamp, Laura Phillips, Jess Lomax, Amy Powell and Emily Hammond demonstrate their 'Pen Friend' phone app.

A team of students from Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) have been announced as finalists in the ­­Apps for Good Awards 2015, to be held this Thursday (18th June) at the Barbican in London.

The national Apps for Good Awards celebrate the next generation of problem solvers and digital makers – young people who are creating apps to change their world for good. This year, 18 finalist teams have been selected to compete for the chance to have their app developed and launched on the market.

The BSCS students’ app, Pen Friend, has been shortlisted in the Connected Communities category (sponsored by TalkTalk), one of six thematic categories for the 2015 awards.

Developed by Year 9 students Lisa Millichamp, Laura Phillips, Jess Lomax, Amy Powell and Emily Hammond (pictured), the app is designed to link students from schools across the world as pen pals, allowing them to practise the languages they learn in secondary school with one another.

In the final, teams from across the UK will pitch their apps in front of a panel of expert judges, comprised of industry leaders and high profile figures, including Margaret Rice-Jones (Chairman of Skyscanner), Ricky Martin (Managing Director HRS & BBC Apprentice Winner 2012) and Jemima Kiss (The Guardian’s Head of Technology).

Ahead of the judging, the students will spend time in the offices of some of the UK’s leading Tech City companies, acting as ‘accelerators’ to help the teams prepare to face the judges.

The finalist teams are also up for the People’s Choice Award, which is selected by an online vote held from 9th to 18th June. During this time, members of the public can vote for their favourite app at

The winning team in each category and the People’s Choice Award winner will work with a professional development agency to launch their app on the market, supported by Apps for Good and their category sponsor.

Teacher Amanda Morton commented:

“We have really enjoyed delivering the Apps for Good programme within our Year 9 curriculum. The course has enabled us to broaden our students understanding of the skills and teamwork required to create technological solutions. It has been wonderful to see the students solve a problem that matters to them through technology and make a difference to their world. Our students loved the experience and we are very proud of what they’ve created.”

Debbie Forster, co-CEO of Apps for Good added:

“We’d like to offer our congratulations to the team behind Pen Friend at Bradley Stoke Community School on becoming a finalist and all their efforts and achievements so far! At Apps for Good we want to change technology education – to turn young tech consumers into tech creators and prepare them to tackle the 21st century workplace.”

“Our course teaches not only digital skills, but also arms students with essential real-world skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, confidence and resilience. The innovation displayed in this year’s entries demonstrates not just the potential for young people to succeed, but their passion to use technology to change their world for good. We’re looking forward to celebrating their achievements at the Apps for Good Awards, and wish all of the finalists the best of luck!”

View the BSCS students’ promotional video:

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