From 150 teams in the state wide competition, 10 WA schools were chosen to compete in the Just Start IT State Final. After pitching their idea of a school-based social app for students, aptly named “Buddi”, the team of six Year 12 Dianella Secondary College students were selected to represent WA and their school at the National 2019 iAwards to be held in Melbourne.
Based on personal experience, the girls recognized the anxieties that challenge immigrant students entering a new school or tertiary environment, in a new country. Introducing Buddi… an app focussed on helping immigrant students settle into Australia and their new school. The app assists immigrating students prior to landing in Australia by matching them with a buddy in their new school, based on same cultural backgrounds and language, hobbies and interests. The app also features chatrooms with you and your matching buddies. Users have the ability to rate how they feel after chat room communications using emoji’s, enabling the school to monitor interactions, while bad language will see users banned from the app. A virtual map of the school provides locations and directions to each facility and an event calendar will keep students up to date with both school and local area events.
Dianella Secondary College is the only WA school to deliver the Just Start IT program as part of a Certificate II in Business. Promoting critical thinking, problem solving and the development of resilient 21st century skills, experienced mentors help teams of students to take an idea from concept to product, creating a viable technology start-up.
The Dianella Secondary College team will compete in the national finals at the 2019 iAwards at Crown Melbourne on 29 August. The category winner will then represent Australia at the international awards to be held in Vietnam later in the year.