Apple has featured three of the 350 winners of their 2022 Swift Student Challenge who are using their coding skills to create apps that help solve problems in their communities.
The Swift Student Challenge is a coding contest for young developers, which is held every year as part of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). In a newsroom post on Friday, Apple presented in detail the winning submissions and the inspiration behind them.
The three winners, aged 16, 17 and 19, are all first-time participants of the Swift Student Challenge. Each of their apps helps the community in a specific way. The first app helps gardeners identify invasive weeds, the second teaches the basics of CPR, while the third one helps those who are exploring their gender identity.
App for gardeners
Jones Mays II, age 17, created an app called Ivy, which he said was inspired by his roots. The app helps gardeners to identify and get rid of invasive plant species like kudzu. He created the app to honor his grandfather who passed away a few years ago.
Mays said, “My grandfather had a garden that he loved, and he grew so much food that he just allowed people from the community to come in and grab what they needed. Even though he couldn’t walk at the end of his life, he used to point and that’s where I’d put down the seeds for him. But we always had to try to get rid of the kudzu vine — it was an ongoing fight.”
“I’ve just really enjoyed being able to build programs that are able to display my creativity and passion in a fun and easy way. Swift has been a big part of that — I discovered it about a year ago and I love how easy it is to use.”
App for teaching CPR basics
Angelina Tsuboi, age 16, submitted an app that teaches people the basics of CPR. Not only that, she also helped create many other apps and has been involved in several community projects, such as: she helped build a prototype that monitors air quality, made a website to help search and rescue organizations, and built a school communication program that won the Congressional App Challenge in her school district.
Tsuboi said, “Life is riddled with problems — everyone is struggling with at least one thing. And programming filled me with this sense of hope. It gave me a way to help identify problems that people in my community or my friends were facing and use my skill set to help them.”
“Helping others helps you remain humble and connected to your community. It makes the world seem like a nicer place and fills me with a sense of joy — I’m able to at least do one thing that helps relieve the chaos in the world.”
App to help explore gender identity
Josh Tint, age 19, created an app that enables people who are questioning their gender identity to try out different pronouns. The inspiration stemmed from his own journey as he explored his identity.
Tint said, “An algorithm will insert different pronouns into pieces of sample text.You can swipe through the sample text — left or right to indicate whether you like it or not — to get a feel for whether you think a certain gender pronoun matches your identity.”
“I’ve questioned my gender identity and so I know there aren’t many resources out there to help with that. So I wanted to try to build a tool that I thought was more applicable to my experience and could help others, too. I wanted my app to help tell a story.”
The annual Swift Student Challenge is a coding competition that allows young developers to submit their projects to Apple, to showcase their skills.
WWDC 2022 will be held online from June 6 to 10, 2022.