Burgess Hill students will realise their dream of creating a mental well-being app after winning a national competition.
St Paul’s Catholic College students designed MyJar, a mobile phone application which stores happy thoughts, photos and memories to share globally.
Having won Astellas Innovation Challenge, run by the pharmaceutical company which funds the project, the students’ app will be professionally developed. It will also be free to download.
The winning students have won an iPod Touch and an educational grant of £1,800 to invest in St Paul’s.
Winning team members were Dominique Froud, PR and marketing Sacha Botting, creative designer Zuzia O’Donoghue, account manager Gemma Kelly and head of IT Jack Gumm, all aged 14-15.
The app was inspired by Sacha and Dominique, who both own a jar filled with fond memories.
Zuzia explained: “That’s where we got the idea from, but you can’t take a real jar around with you.”
TV presenter and Oxford Maths graduate Rachel Riley announced the winners at Astellas’ event last Tuesday.
She said: “The quality of entries for the Astellas Innovation Challenge was outstanding. Each team showed great awareness of real challenges to healthy living and true creativity in utilising mobile technology and innovation to create solutions.”
The competition asked students aged 14-16 to design a mobile app to encourage healthy living. The competition also aim to increase interest among school students in taking up Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Rachel continued: “Mobile apps are transforming the way we manage our health and how healthcare is provided.
“Through this competition we have seen school students make some incredible applications of STEM skills to encourage healthier lifestyles and I hope this illustrates the variety of career pathways STEM studies can enable.”
My Jar includes a My Feeling section, in which each day users can score their emotions, including happiness and self esteem, to see how their mood is improving whilst using the app.
It is different to social media, as users would not see their friends’ profiles which the group said can be ‘depressing’.
CEO of Astellas Pharma Ken Jones said: “As an organisation employing people with a range of STEM expertise, Astellas knows exactly how important these subjects are and we are proud to organise and fund initiatives like the Astellas Innovation Challenge.
“We are very excited by the potential of the winning app to encourage healthy living in the UK and it is our hope that all the talented young innovators who entered the competition are inspired to continue developing their STEM abilities into the future.
“These skills can open doors to a wealth of exciting careers and are key to the future of the UK’s thriving knowledge-based economy.”