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Appy start to life at UCLan

26 October 2015

Rachel Atkinson

First year computing students create apps for the Four Week Challenge

Computing students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have showed off their design and development skills by creating treasure hunt apps.

All 180 first year students, who are studying across a range of UCLan’s computing related courses, took part in the annual Computing Four Week Challenge module as part of their welcome to university life in Preston.

The students combined their computing skills and worked together in small teams to create the engaging and easy to use apps. The teams were then tested on the usability of their creations via a treasure hunt around the city centre, which culminated in a roller disco in 53 Degrees.

It is the fifth year the popular challenge has taken place. The module aims to equip the undergraduates with a foundation of study skills necessary to be successful at UCLan and to help them bridge the gap between further and higher education.

“It’s been great fun and it’s such a unique way to start our time at University.”

Louise Owen, from Cockermouth, was part of The Cure team which created a zombie themed app. The 19-year-old BSc (Hons) Computer Games Development student said: “It’s been great fun and it’s such a unique way to start our time at University. We’ve all had to bring our knowledge and experience together and learn to work with each other. Having a competitive element really encouraged us to enter into the spirit of the challenge.”

Nineteen-year-old Max Duffy, from Blackburn, was part of the team which created the HA-Q app. He said: “It’s been interesting working together on this project because we’re all very different people with different skill sets. We’ve spent all day every day designing and creating our hacking app and have become good friends. From now we’re splitting off into our own subject areas but we’ve got a long last friendship because of this introductory four week challenge.”

Senior Lecturer in computer games development Nick Mitchell is one of the tutors who created the annual competition along with colleagues Nicky Danino and Lesley May. He added: “The students have put a huge amount of work into this challenge and we’re delighted to see they’ve had an enormous amount of fun while taking part. The dynamic has been great and the quality of their apps is very high.”

See more photos from the Four Week Challenge.