News / Ottawa

Ottawa students take control of tech in app building contest

Ottawa’s youngest cohort of programmers and developers showed off their home-grown apps on Wednesday – everything from burger building games to budgeting on an iPhone.

Out of 62 apps submitted from high school computer science classes in the program, the 20 best and brightest were presented at the fourth annual “AppJam” event on Wednesday.

“Technology draws students in because it’s things they use all the time,” said Steve Evraire, the director of the program. “But we don’t want them to be just users of technology, we encourage them to create.”

“With computers and phones and tablets it’s easy to get them hooked.”

Judges from local tech companies, including Shopify, Adobe and Askari, listened to presentations and demonstrations before handing out prizes and awards.

Prizes included a serious amount of cash. Over $25,000 in cash was given out and a number of students were offered $2,500 scholarships if they planned to attend the University of Ottawa.

Some students in the program work independently on their apps, while others received mentorship from professionals in Ottawa’s tech industry.

Evraire said the program has increased Ottawa enrolment in high school computer science and communications technology courses by 35 per cent.

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