Highlands & Islands

Pupils design app to encourage children to go outdoors

Ellora James and Mari-Ann Ganson Image copyright Interface
Image caption Ellora James and Mari-Ann Ganson are pupils at Wick High School

Two high school pupils have created an app designed to encourage children to enjoy the outdoors more often.

Mari-Ann Ganson and Ellora James, who are both 17, created Envirocache for an apps competition.

The Wick High School students' app draws on geo-cache technology to provide children with nature treasure hunts while they go for walks.

Ellora's work on the project has helped her to win 2017's Scottish Women in Technology One to Watch award.

She said: "It's so humbling to be at the beginning of my journey and yet still recognised for my passion for technology.

"I hope that I can use this success to continue to be a role model for others, work to improve diversity in technology and show how schools can work to encourage this too."

Wearable technology

The teenagers received help from Interface, an organisation that provides support in developing products.

It matched the pair with an academic at Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University to develop their app.

Wick High School in Caithness has a reputation for encouraging its students to make innovative uses of technology.

Last year, pupils created an award-winning app designed to engage young people in politics.

The One Click Politics app won the information category at the national Apps for Good Awards.

And three years ago the school held what was thought to be the first wearable technology competition of its kind in Scottish education.

Working in teams of two or three, S2 pupils were challenged to design an app for use with Google Glass eyewear or Samsung Gear 2 and Pebble smartwatches.

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