Kids get appetite for app development


A new competition to design a mobile app that encourages healthy living has been launched across England, Scotland and Wales.

The competition is designed to increase interest amongst school students in taking up a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subject at university and beyond.

The Astellas Innovation Challenge is asking the next generation of would-be entrepreneurs and innovators to design a mobile app that encourages healthy living.

Latest research conducted amongst British 11 – 16 year olds by YouGov, reveals that 8 out of 10 (83%) school students say they are interested in STEM subjects. However, only 37% of school students thought it likely that they would continue on with these subjects at higher education.

The research also revealed that technology is an intrinsic part of school students’ everyday lives 87% of 11 to 16 year olds have a mobile / smartphone and more than three quarters (77%)  confirmed they use apps at least once a day.

Furthermore, school students’ appetite for apps is reaching a record high, with over two thirds (70%) having 11 or more apps on their mobile devices  with 29%  having more than 30 apps.

Nearly half of school students also believe that technology innovators such as Steve Jobs (46%) and Mark Zuckerberg (44%) have had a greater  impact on the way they live their lives, compared with music celebrities like Justin Bieber (4%)or Rihanna (4%).

Rachel Riley, TV presenter, Oxford Maths graduate and ambassador to the Astellas Innovation Challenge, said: “Studying STEM subjects can open up so many doors for young people and lead to promising careers in a diverse range of fields, such as computing, health and even broadcasting. The skills you learn from STEM subjects are fundamental to innovation and key to our economy, so it’s important for students to see how they can be used in future careers."

The Astellas Innovation Challenge is a competition which aims to help redress the imbalance by demonstrating the practical applications of STEM subjects and their relevance for future careers.

Digital Learning