A group of innovative Year 12 students at Dianella Secondary College are aiming for number one spot in the national iAwards this month.
The pupils have developed an idea for a ‘Buddi’ mobile phone app that could help immigrant students find new school friends. Being immigrant students themselves, the group knows first-hand that making new friends at a new school in a new country can have its challenges.
In the lead up to vying for national glory, the City provided $5,000 in funding for the school to take part in a Just Start IT program. The technology start-up program helps Year 11 and 12 students realise their potential in areas such as business, computer programming and marketing by offering real life work environments with experienced mentors.
The school is the only one in WA delivering the Just Start IT program where it leads to students achieving a Certificate II in Business qualification. The ultimate aim of Just Start IT is to take an idea from concept to product stage and create a viable technology-powered start-up.
The school’s ‘Buddi’ group was selected from 200 teams to represent Western Australia in the upcoming iAwards. Each year, the contest showcases inspiring student achievements and gives them an opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of experts.
Mayor Mark Irwin said it was fantastic for local students to be recognised at a state level and he was very impressed with their enthusiasm for the project that was tailor-made for the City’s multicultural community.
“The Just Start IT program translates to the real world as it looks at self-employment as a future option for students and provides them with valuable opportunities to work on projects like app development while they’re still at school,” Mayor Irwin said.
Dianella Secondary College Principal Wayne Austin said the school’s Just Start IT teams had celebrated several successes in the annual contest during the past four years, but getting the nod to represent WA was a first.
“Winning the state competition this year has confirmed our belief that the combination of this program, our students and teachers is providing real and transferrable learning business experiences,” Mr Austin said.
The students will visit Melbourne for the iAwards this month and are set to find out if they win the national title on Thursday 29 August.
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