20 Sep 2013
"This year's eBook app category champion is..." The auditorium fell into abrupt silence. You could almost feel the intensity of the suspense just looking around. Students in blue, white and beige fidgeted with anticipation. They all had the same thought in mind: Will their school win?
Earlier this morning, teams of up to 3 students manned booths at Singapore Polytechnic's convention centre as part of the National Software Competition (NSC) 2013. Aside from a panel of judges, there were also students and teachers at the exhibition to support their respective school teams. Each team had their own unique ideas built upon the distinctive identity which they formed together. It was inspiring to listen to them share their ideas because they did so with pride, passion and most importantly faith. They were steadfast in their belief that their idea could improve the lives of others.
The atmosphere was one of joy and enthusiasm. Some teachers engaged in enthusiastic banter with their own school teams while others visited different booths with their students. Watching students from different schools interact was heartwarming. The students listened avidly regardless of the presenters' school.
The panel of judges visited each booth with friendliness that disarmed all nervousness the presenters must have felt. They not only listened to the team's introduction of their apps but also gave feedback on how their apps could be improved. This highlighted the main aim of the competition which is to encourage innovation in IT and develop skills in mobile technology among participants. The judges were not there solely to decide on the winners. They were also there to provide professional advice on how the teams could improve and hone their app ideas.
After touring the exhibition for an hour or so, an afternoon tea buffet was served right in the convention centre. During this time, the students were also given 2 stickers each to vote for their favourite 'eBook' and 'mobile app' category apps. This created an engaging experience for the students as they got to influence 10% of the judging weightage with their votes. At the same time, the judges deliberated over the other 90% of the judging criteria.
After half an hour, we moved over to a nearby auditorium for the prize presentation ceremony. The enthusiasm reached a new high as the much awaited moment came around the corner. The participants were especially excited for they had put in months after months of diligence and hard work.
After a moment of waiting, two emcees came onto the stage to kick-start the ceremony. Mr Melvin Lin from IDA (Infocomm Development Authority) was invited to share more about IT in Singapore. He started off with how he was really impressed by all the teams' efforts and ideas, which echoed the thoughts of many others including myself. He then proceeded to share with us about how prevalent IT is, and how it has and can change our lives. Even though his sharing was targeted at the secondary school students, we the DMIT student ambassadors also known as DMIT STARS were also listening attentively. This is because his sharing reminded us of why we took up IT for our studies in the first place: To leverage IT to improve ours and others' lives.
All in all, the National Software Competition was an incredibly meaningful event. Everyone ranging from participants to supporters to helpers benefited. It provided a platform for Singapore Polytechnic, IDA and secondary schools to communicate and network. It allowed us to share and learn more about others; all in the name of leveraging on IT to benefit people from all walks of lives.
If you are interested to find out more about the National Software Competition and who are the winning teams, visit the official website at: http://nsc.sp.edu.sg/2013/
Year 2, Diploma in Information Technology (DIT)