East End students are first in the UK to work on cutting edge phone apps design

A GROUP of East End girls have become the first students in the country to design their own phone app - and their plans could soon hit the market.

Twenty girls from Central Foundation Girls’ School in Bow were chosen to design an app that would help their community as part of a new cutting edge charity project.

The students, aged from 13 to 16, impressed the leaders on the course - named Apps for Good - so much that the project is now being rolled out across other schools.

On Monday (January 10), 13-year-old pupil Amarah Khan spoke about her team’s work during a conference attended by the American secretary for education technology, Karen Cator among other leading figures from the worlds of politics and technology.

Amarah, who is working on an alarm clock app, said: “We wanted to make an app for an everyday problem that many people suffer from.

“I think we’re more in tune with technology than our parents’ generation.”

Apps for Good, run by education technology charity CDI Europe, won an award for the best “Inclusion/Innovation” project at the central London bash.

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Iris Lapinski, UK director of CDI Europe, said: “We were taking a chance coming into a school but this pilot has shown us we did the right thing.

“When we asked the girls what they thought about the project, one said, ‘I want to work in the media and apps are the future of the media industry’. We weren’t expecting that sort of innovation.”

Mohima Ahmed, 15, is working an app to translate Bengali to English so Bangladeshi parents can keep up to date with their child’s progress at school.

She said: “We know more about what could help people in our communities than a bunch of middle-aged men in an office.

“We’ve given a lot of our time but we’ve got a lot back. We wouldn’t normally have access to some of the high up people we’ve met.”

The students were introduced to Channel 4’s commissioning editor Jo Twist as well as successful games designers during the course.

With funding from technology giant Dell, the students were each given a Dell Streak smart phone.

The project started in September and runs through to February, although CDI is planning another course at the school in March.