UP’s mobile app for chemistry tops inaugural tech campus contest

A mobile app created by a team from the University of the Philippines Diliman that allows students to learn chemistry in a fun and engaging manner was recently declared the inaugural winner of an IT competition sponsored by outsourcing giant Accenture Philippines.

Dubbed “Program the Future: The Accenture Technology Campus Challenge”, the new university student competition was launched in December as a venue where IT, computer science, and engineering students can design and develop mobile applications and solutions that can help improve the country’s education system.

The lone team from UP Diliman, composed of Romelio P. Tavas Jr., Acezon Rhay E. Cay, and Christine C. Balili, outshone other contingents from De La Salle University (four teams), University of Sto. Tomas, and Mapua Institute of Technology (two teams each).

The pilot run of the competition had a total of nine participating teams. The awarding ceremonies were held at the Mind Museum in Taguig City.

The winning entry, JuanderLab, is an app that aims to revolutionize the way chemistry is taught, through a virtual laboratory, according to its creators. The triumphant team, nicknamed CodeUP, received a trophy and gadgets worth P200,000. The school was also given P50,000.

Mobile apps from DLSU captured runner-up honors, netting trophies and gadgets worth P150,000 and P100,000, respectively. Two other finalists from Mapua and DLSU also won P50,000 worth of gadgets each.

An entry from UST was recognized with a People’s Choice Award after topping the public voting on Facebook and the campus roadshows.

The winners were picked by a panel of judges that included senior Accenture executives and key officials of the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Education, and Commission on Higher Education.

To assist and guide the competing teams, Accenture conducted a one-day Mobile App Development Workshop about iOS, Android and Windows platforms, and hosted consultation sessions with the company’s key technology professionals.

The teams submitted their respective entries last Dec. 6, consisting of a five-minute concept video, a storyboard that spells out the mobile application in detail and how it could help improve the country’s education system, and the source code.

Ambe Tierro, technology business head of Accenture Philippines, said in a press briefing prior to the announcement of the winners said the program hopes to “hone the technology, critical thinking and project management skills of today’s students.”

“We also want to encourage more of our young people to take up IT, computer science or engineering courses to help build a strong pool of IT talent for a better Philippines,” said Tierro, who added that Accenture has already committed to hold the competition annually.

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