BlackBerry Supports Mobile App Development Contest at Canada-Wide Science Fair

By: Lee Rickwood

May 5, 2014

Twenty years ago, a young student named Darrell May attended – and won – a Canada-Wide Science Fair.

Today, he holds 24 patents, with 23 patents pending, and plays an integral role in product development at BlackBerry as a Software Architect.

Who’s next?

We’ll find out in another week or so. You never can tell what might come from the next Canada-Wide Science Fair. Maybe the winner has developed a great new mobile application, perhaps a crash protection system for bicycles, maybe a cure for cancer.

L to R: – Terra Lanteigne (Bedford Academy), Nicole Poirier (Bedford Academy), Hannah Miles (Sir John A. MacDonald) and Julia Sarty (Citadel) were among the students who participated in the 2013 Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF) in Lethbridge, AB.

L to R: – Terra Lanteigne (Bedford Academy), Nicole Poirier (Bedford Academy), Hannah Miles (Sir John A. MacDonald) and Julia Sarty (Citadel) were among the students who participated in the 2013 Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF) in Lethbridge, AB.

Regardless of the entry or the competitor, judges will be looking for the best scientific thought, originality, creativity and communication skills that our students can deliver.

Darrell May and others like him make real the role that Canada-Wide Science Fair plays in pointing young and talented individuals to a successful career in science, technology, engineering or related field.

That’s good, because in a couple of years, more than 100,000 Information, Communications and Technology jobs will need to be filled in Canada, with demand for critical jobs far exceeding the supply, especially in new and emerging ICT sectors such as mobile computing and big data analytics.

The Fairs have been going on for some 50 years, and this year, as many as 25,000 students across the country have been taking part in regional science fairs as they bid to grab a coveted spot in the national championship event – the 2014 Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF), in Windsor from May 10th to 17th.

This year, in a unique add-on to an already-exciting competition, CWSF launched the BlackBerry Smartphone App Development Award, to give students an opportunity to showcase their scientific and technical chops in a competition to build the best mobile application.

There are cash prizes and BlackBerries to be awarded, of course, but top winners (in Junior, Intermediate and Senior grade categories) of the Smartphone App Development Award will each receive one-on-one mentorship with a BlackBerry mobile application developer expert as well.

To be eligible, students must have built a mobile application using PhoneGap (the mobile development framework acquired by Adobe Systems in 2011) or Appcelerator (a platform for developing native cross-platform apps and mobilizing data sources) that meets the BlackBerry 10 UI guidelines. This means the application will be eligible for the Built for BlackBerry certification and can be easily deployed to other mobile platforms.

“The introduction of the BlackBerry Smartphone App Development Award will continue the CWSF tradition of instilling the spirit of innovation in participants and prepare them for the bright opportunities of a future career in science,” said Brad McCabe from Youth Science Canada.

Canada Wide Science Fair

Canada Wide Science Fair

Approximately 500 budding scientists who have competed and won at their regional science fairs will be descending on Windsor for the national championship.

Finalists will demonstrate their scientific creations to a panel of distinguished judges, which includes two BlackBerry Employees.

“We are pleased to support Canada-Wide Science Fair, and to introduce the new BlackBerry Smartphone App Development Award to broaden scientific learning in a fun and challenging way. CWSF is a great platform to encourage the next generation to continue pursuing their love for science and technology,” said Martyn Mallick, Vice President, Global Alliances and Ecosystems at BlackBerry.

Even before the competition is decided, by the way, BlackBerry’s President, Global Enterprise Services, will have given a ‘state-of-the-company’ address to attendees at a BlackBerry Enterprise event in Montreal, Toronto and elsewhere.

John Sim will talk about how BlackBerry is ‘returning to its roots’ and refocusing on enterprise mobility, and there will be presentations on the company’s roadmap to BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 (BES12).

BlackBerry is positioning its multi-platform Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) as a secure and cost effective business solution, and it will underscore how well it supports development of cross-platform applications for business processes.

And the bright young students who help develop them.



Submitted by Lee Rickwood








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