Croom team scoops award for innovation

Colm Ward

Reporter:

Colm Ward

Shane Joyce, Evan Kelly, Maja Naczynska, Denis Semenov, Dorota Golinska and Areej Uquaily from Colaiste Chiarain Croom, the winning team in the Dragons' Den competition for their Quick Revise idea as part of the Excited Digital Learning Festival
A group of budding entrepreneurs from Colaiste Chiarain in Croom have taken top prize in a Dragons’ Den-type competition for schools.

A group of budding entrepreneurs from Colaiste Chiarain in Croom have taken top prize in a Dragons’ Den-type competition for schools.

The Colaiste Chiarain team won the competition at the Excited Digital Learning Festival for its QuickRevise revision tool which aims to make studying and revision more fun for students.

The team was made up of Shane Joyce, Evan Kelly, Maja Maczynska, Denis Semenov, Dorota Golinska and Areej Uquaily - all first year students - with assistance from their teacher Conor Power.

Their winning idea is a fun-based revision tool using a deck of cards containing questions on one side and answers on the revise with a QR code linking to more information on the website http://quickrevise.ie.

The team has also built an app that scans the QR code to bring students to the exact online resource.

Each pack of cards covers an entire subject area and could be expanded to cover areas like first aid. They expect to make a profit of €20k in their first year.

As part of the Excited festival, the group took part in a number of workshops, before giving a presentation of their idea to a panel of ‘dragons’ including experts from Microsoft and Google, amongst others.

Afterwards, they said they were “thrilled” with the win.

“It was great fun and it was very cool to win,” commented Maja Maczynska.

Mr Power pointed out that all the students are studying computer programming as one of their short course options in the school.

He added that they now plan to develop the product further, with a view to bringing it to the market in the coming months.

Colaiste Chiarain was one of four schools to pitch a business idea for a new innovation, using technology in the classroom. The other participating schools were all awarded prizes in different categories.

In preparation for the challenge each school received a day of training delivered by the Learnovate Centre and had a mentor assigned to help them expand their ideas.

The schools held their own competition to select the best idea from their group of students. Each school team also spent a couple of hours refining their idea with mentors and preparing their presentation for the Dragons. The judges were Alan Maguire, Versari, Theresa Hagan, HMH, Stephen Howell, Microsoft, and Dean Magee, Google.

Over 150 school students from around the country also took part in a series of workshops organised by the Science Gallery where they made their own human pianos, built and raced their own race cars and made maps of Dublin using recycled and repurposed goods.

Student workshops were also delivered showing how ‘Little Bits’, which is a system of electronic modules that snap together with magnets, could change the teaching of physics and electronics.