“The mSchools Student Awards 2017 finalists are the architects of the future,” said Aleix Valls, CEO of Mobile World Capital Barcelona, in light of the quality, creativity and talent of the more than 400 finalists in the 4th edition of the mSchools Student Awards, a contest and ceremony that acknowledge and celebrate students and teachers for their accomplishments during the mSchools programme.
The event took place on 10 June in the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya in Barcelona, and provided an excellent opportunity for industry experts, the press and the general public to discover the rising talent in the classroom. Students from Primary and Secondary School, High School and Vocational Training proved that when integrate digital technologies in the classroom, the results exceed all expectations. Projects related to robotics, apps and wearables were showcased, as well as original content created on points of historical interest close to their schools, games and interactive stories.
The Student Awards have shown a remarkable growth since the first edition in 2014. In just 4 years, the number of participating students and schools has tripled, the competition categories have expanded to include a wider range of educational levels and the space allocated to exhibiting projects has increased considerably: an outstanding success of digital innovation in Education.
The mSchools Student Awards 2017 included three initiatives: App Education, Mobile History Map and the Scratch Challenge. App Education rewarded the best projects created within the computer science elective course that focuses on the design and creation of apps for mobile devices. Some examples seen at the contest were: an app to help people suffering from Alzheimer (BeYourMind, Col·legi Salesià Sant Antoni de Pàdua in Mataró), robotic solutions designed to improve people’s health and education (Robots Socials, Institut Roseta Mauri in Reus), an app to promote access to culture (LUO Sharing, Institut Ernest Lluch in Barcelona) and an app that uses gamification to raise awareness among young children of important global issues (Ka’ike, Institut d’Altafulla). “We create robots to help people complete different tasks,” explained the creators of Robots Socials. “We help children in their everyday routine, students with their homework and the elderly to remember taking their medication.”
The Mobile History Map Challenge rewarded the best cultural contributions created with the geo-positioning tool Mobile History Map. The finalists submitted original and valuable content in three different categories, all aimed at promoting historical and geographical aspects of Catalonia and its heritage. Primary students at the Escola Nostra Llar in Sabadell highlighted how much they enjoyed learning: “Thanks to Mobile History Map, we have learnt that computers can also be fun when used for learning.” Their school was awarded one of the two first prizes in the El Lloc dels Fets (The Scene of the Facts) category for their project “Xemeneies. Vides emprenedores. Als telers del vapor” [Chimneys. Entrepreneurial lives. Steam looms].
Finally, new this year, the Scratch Challenge awarded prizes to the teams that best resolved two challenges using Scratch programming language. Daniel Amo, teacher of one of the winning teams, commented that “programming with Scratch not only requires working with mathematical logic, but also with skills required in the 21st century in order to learn and grow…and most importantly, not to be afraid of making mistakes.”
Prizes and awards to a total of 24 projects were given out by Aleix Valls, CEO of Mobile World Capital Barcelona, Albert Forn Director of mSchools, John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA, the Honorable Meritxell Ruiz, Consellera d’Ensenyament and Dani Marco, Director of SmartCAT – Generalitat de Catalunya.
The mSchools Student Awards are a celebration of innovation and talent, and a unique opportunity to inspire hundreds of students to pursue careers in the ICT sector.