Build apps + solve problems
Amazing ideas for apps from tech girls
Take a sneak peek at the incredible apps the next generation of women in tech would build.
Careers With STEM teamed up with the Tech Girls Movement group as part of their search for their Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero – an international competition that challenges girls to address a real problem they see in the world. Working in teams of up to five students, they brainstorm, design, and eventually build an app they think will help address their issue.
We dared girls at Commonwealth Bank’s Bring your Daughter to Work Day to have a go at a mini version of the challenge, asking them to describe a problem and design, or ‘prototype’, ideas for apps to solve it in just a few short minutes.
Some were so impressive that we turned them into, well, not quite real apps – but some pretty cool prototypes. Here are five of our favourites, and tips on how you can get started on designing an app of your own.
“To help fight distraction and get things done, we would make an app which will lock you out of your social media until you finish your to-do list.”
A lot of your ideas for apps were for help organising your homework, and a way to avoid distractions like social media – but this seems like a particularly ingenious way to do both at the same time.
“An app where you can order food from your canteen during class, to avoid the long lines at lunchtime.”
UberEats for your canteen? Why not? We’re all about anything that gets you to your lunch a little bit faster. If you can take cash and change out of the equation, even better!
“An app to help people find stray pets: If you lose your pet, or find a lost pet, you upload a recent photo. The app will match similar pets.”
Making a digital version of something we already do is a classic way to make a hit app, and it would be heartwarming to see all those lost pets reunited with their owners. Bonus points if you can figure out a way to scan microchips to find the owner that way, too.
“Kids don’t sleep enough. We would help solve this with an app based on gamification where you have a virtual pet. The app detects when your phone moves at night. Movements upset your pet, so less movement is better.”
Let us get this straight – it’s a game that you play… by not playing with your phone? It’s absolute genius. Maybe gamification is just what we’ve been waiting for to get us all off our phones before bed.
“We’re always getting lost at school. Our app shows you where to go for labs and how to get there.”
This one would be fantastic for new kids or visitors to the school. Don’t forget to think about who would have access to your data though: if you were running late, your teacher might just be tracking exactly how far away you are.
We collected heaps more ideas for apps: to help new parents, to fight bullying, tackle racism and clean up the environment. A lot of you also wanted apps to help with your homework, get you organised, or solve maths equations.
If that sounds like you, have a look at what’s already out there. Check out apps like PhotoMath for equations, Hemingway for writing, MyHomework for getting organised and Wolfram Alpha for solving just about anything else – they’ll get you back on track in no time.
Inspired to have a go at making one of these for real? Have a problem you reckon you could solve? You don’t have to wait – building your own app is easier than you might think.
Prototyping is just the first step. We mocked up these ideas for apps using Marvel, which is super easy to use and great for getting inspiration and putting your ideas down on the screen. When you’re ready to start building your app, check out Codecademy, visit your local CoderDojo, and check out Careers With Code, or events like Go Girl Go For IT to see how you can take your new coding skills even further.
And of course, you can sign up for the Tech Girls Movement’s Technovation Challenge!
Once you get started with code, the possibilities are endless – and there are plenty of people out there to help you get going.
– Rockwell McGellin