UP NISMED Empowers Student-trainees to Develop Mobile Apps for their Community

After eight sessions of learning how to code with MIT App Inventor, the 20 female students from Pasay City South High School (PCSHS) proudly showcased their own mobile apps during the closing program of the Online Learning Sessions on Creating Apps held on 24 September 2022 via Zoom. The learning sessions were conducted for two hours by the Information Science Group of UP NISMED every Saturday since 6 August until 24 September 2022. The students showcased the mobile applications they developed in front of an audience consisting of the training facilitators, teachers from PCSHS, and guests from Telstra Foundation Philippines and the Philippine Business for Social Progress. 

Figure 1. Photo opportunity during the closing program with the participants, teachers, training facilitators, and guests.

In creating their own apps, students identified opportunities wherein their school or community can benefit from their apps. One group has created an app that automates the monitoring of students’ attendance in their school. They wanted to help their teachers lessen the time in marking students’ attendance. The other group on the other hand, developed an app that computes for the user’s Body Mass Index (BMI). The App recommends actions that can help student-users have BMIs that are within the healthy weight range. A quiz game app was also developed by another group to help their fellow students review their past lessons. Another group has created an app for people who are commuting using tricycles. Even though the App is not yet complete, the group hopes that they would eventually develop a ride-hailing app so that tricycle drivers can earn more. Lastly, the app that was conferred the Best App Award is the Self-Learning Mobile App or SLMA. The App aims to provide a platform for students to test their knowledge, refer to their modules, visit links to educational videos, and email their teachers directly from the App.

Figure 2. Selected screens of the five mobile apps developed by students.

Mr. Don Nepomuceno, a trustee of Telstra Foundation Philippines, was amazed by what the students have developed in just 16 hours of training. He encouraged them to continue creating more apps for the improvement of the lives in their community. Bianca Jen D. Paragua also shared her experience as a student-trainee during the closing program. According to her, “after a few weeks of meeting in Zoom, we went from not knowing anything to making calculator and registration forms, from making a drawing paint app to speech calculators, and now to making our own applications using the knowledge gained from the past lessons. I believe that I speak for everyone who is part of the experience that we’re thankful and honored to have this opportunity.”

This training is part of the STEM program sponsored by Telstra Foundation Philippines through the Philippine Business for Social Progress that aims to encourage girls to pursue a career in ICT.