Students win tech competition with educational plant care app

THE winners of the Digital Innovators Programme, sponsored by First Central, were crowned at an event hosted by the Digital Greenhouse.

Left to right, Renew Guernsey co-founder Jack Fletcher, Dan Edmunds, from First Central, CoFE students Anastacia Inder, James Sines and Will Holmes, of double-award-winning team Diverse Guernsey, John Davison, from First Centra,l and president of Environment & Infrastructure Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez. Team Smart Plant from the Grammar School and Sixth Form Centre were the overall winners. (Picture by Chris George)
Left to right, Renew Guernsey co-founder Jack Fletcher, Dan Edmunds, from First Central, CoFE students Anastacia Inder, James Sines and Will Holmes, of double-award-winning team Diverse Guernsey, John Davison, from First Centra,l and president of Environment & Infrastructure Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez. Team Smart Plant from the Grammar School and Sixth Form Centre were the overall winners. (Picture by Chris George)

Each year students aged between 16 and 18 are invited to tackle a problem statement using technology-based solutions, with the aim of developing opportunities for young people to engage with digital technologies. This year, students presented digital solutions on how to improve biodiversity in Guernsey.

The five teams of students that made it to the final were from the College of Further Education and the Grammar School and Sixth Form Centre. The judges were Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez, Renew Guernsey co-founder Jack Fletcher, and Dan Edmunds and John Davison from First Central.

Ideas included an app to gamify the collection of data by allowing the public to log wildlife across the island, a glass bottle milk delivery service that aims to reduce waste, a drone that spreads seeds around the island, an app to look after and identify local plants, and a tree-planting service to commemorate a special moment that can then be easily located via GPS in an app.

‘All the teams had fantastic ideas, so it was difficult to pick an overall winner,’ said First Central Group chief information officer John Davison.

‘Each team tackled the problem statement from a different perspective, addressing the issue with a variety of solutions that all have great potential.

‘Our students are the island’s future, so it was great to listen to each team present their take on this year’s problem statement. Congratulations to everyone who took part – and to the winning team.’

Team Smart Plant from the Grammar School and Sixth Form Centre won the competition with their educational plant care app.

The Best Technical Solution and the Most Innovative Solution awards went to Diverse Guernsey from the College of Further Education for their app which gamifies the collection of wildlife data.

The judges said the winning team of James Sines, Will Holmes, Anastacia Inder and Chloe Peel had demonstrated excellent problem solving, idea generation and creative thinking skills. It was noted that their presentation was very professional and their well-rounded concept would be extremely useful for educating islanders on how to help wildlife thrive.

Jenny de la Mare, development officer at the Digital Greenhouse, said: ‘Despite the challenges of Covid, which postponed some of the workshops, the teams demonstrated excellent teamwork and generated fantastic ideas. The entries have been developed to such a high standard and we’ve been amazed with how creative and innovative this year’s entries have been.

‘The programme provides the unique opportunity for students to enhance their digital skills and present in front of an audience and to industry professionals. What they’ve learnt will be very useful for entering the world of work and we congratulate all of the teams for their efforts.’

n More information on the competition can be found at: https://digitalgreenhouse.gg/news-impact/skills-education/digital-innovators-competition-2022/.

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