Pupils develop apps that bring betterment to society

Nazaratul Naim (extreme left) and Nur Aliah flanking their teacher. On the extreme right is Zarith Hani.

BUKIT KIARA: Not all students use their phones to play games and shoot selfies. Some develop apps that shine lights of hope on society.

Five schools won Hackathon 2019 awards on Tuesday for the apps they developed using open source data obtained from the government.

FMT spoke to one of the winning groups, made up of three 16-year-old schoolgirls from Tunku Kursiah College.

Nazaratul Naim Mohd Azli, Zarith Hani Muhammad Zairi and Nur Aliah Ardini Ahmad Firdaus named their group Mac N Cheese. Their app is called EarthyUs and its purpose is to educate Malaysians on environmental issues.

They decided to develop it when their school was doing assessments on environmental issues during the recent haze period.

The app provides news, statistics and video tutorials on how to prevent pollution. It also shows where to find the nearest recycling centres.

The girls said the app was developed in a week, which was the period given by the competition organisers.

Nazaratul said it couldn’t have been done without help from their teacher and mentor.

Two boys from Sekolah Menengah Persint 14, Putrajaya, also won an award. They call themselves What The Heck.

Their app, called Pelajar Peduli Bayi, helps save babies dumped in drains, public toilets and other places. It allows mothers to anonymously inform volunteers where they dumped their babies. Volunteers will then go to the given location to retrieve the babies and deliver them to hatch centres.

The fact sheet notes that the boys plan to allow notifications to be sent through WhatsApp or Telegram in order to reduce the volunteers’ response time.

Another winning group developed a smart sprinkler system controlled by phone. It uses solar and wind power.

There is also a gaming app that educates people about the importance of water.

All these apps prove that with the right tools and guidance, kids can bring change to society in their own ways.