Google App Inventor Competition in China a Huge Success

Jan 25, 2016 karen's Blog

This is a guest blog post by Kathy Deng, Google China

We just wrapped up the 2015 App Inventor contest for high school and middle school students in China contest website in Chinese, which rolled out in June. This is the 2nd year we ran this nationwide App Inventor contest. The goals were (1) to encourage high school students, middle school students, and upperclassmen at primary school to learn Computational Thinking, (2) to let students gain hands-on mobile application development experience through App Inventor and (3) to boost CS education among young students.

As the result of the collaboration between MIT, the Guangzhou Education Information Center and South China University of Technology, users in China can now access the local App Inventor server [link].

Here is the list of the highlights from this years contest:

Diversity: A team of two female students took home with the first prize in the middle school group. Out of the 20 student teams selected for the final onsite competition, five were female student teams.
Quantity & quality: The number of submissions this year is 1,095, more than doubling last years numbers. We were told by the MIT App Inventor team judge that there was significant improvement in the quality of submitted apps. And he added this is the direct result from the promotion of App Inventor in China for the past three years. More schools: the contest got submissions from 258 schools which is an 80% increase compared to last years number. We found out more and more high and middle schools are interested in having opportunities for their students to learn CS in China.

On November 15, we held the onsite competition and awards ceremony at the Google Shanghai office. There were 10 high school teams, 10 middle school teams, parents and teachers in attendance.

We invited Prof. Hal Abelson from MIT to give a welcome speech to more than 70 attendees via Google Hangout video conference at the beginning of the event. Hal mentioned that when he created App Inventor at Google and MIT, he hoped that talented students could use mobile computing to make apps which are both creative and beautiful. This years submissions reaffirmed his goal. He was so proud of the students and offered a warm congratulation to students, parents, and teachers.

Each finalist presented and demoed their applications to the judges, which included Google engineers and Weihua Li from the MIT App Inventor team. Below are the winning apps:

This was great teamwork from Google, MIT App Inventor team, South China University of Technology (local partner), and Guangzhou Education Information Center (hosting local App Inventor server). All parties have contributed to this contest in different ways.