BlackBerry To Reward Student App Developers with New Award at Canada-Wide Science Fair

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BlackBerry is about to help out a handful of student app developers in a big way.

Today the embattled Canadian smartphone maker announced the new BlackBerry Smartphone App Development Award for Canada-Wide Science Fair 2014, the largest and most established science-based competition for students in the country.

The Waterloo-based company called itself a  champion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education in Canada, saying the new award will provide students with “the unique opportunity of showcasing their scientific and technical chops” in a competition to build the best mobile application.

The winners of the Smartphone App Development Award will each receive one-on-one mentorship with a BlackBerry mobile application developer expert, a BlackBerry 10 smartphone, and cash prizes.

The award’s three categories are: Junior (grades 7 and 8 or Secondary I and II in Quebec); Intermediate (grades 9 and 10 or Secondary III and IV in Quebec); and Senior (grades 11 and 12 or Secondary V, Cegep I and II in Quebec). To be eligible, students are required to build a mobile application using PhoneGap or Appcelerator 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.

“Over the years, Canada-Wide Science Fair has captured the imaginations of countless students who continue to push the boundaries of science with their truly astounding creations,” said Youth Science Canada’s Brad McCabe. “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 – especially in the rapidly growing field of mobile computing.”

Approximately 500 “budding scientists” who have competed and won at their regional science fairs will be invited to the Canada-Wide Science Fair for the national championship in Windsor, May 10-17.

Finalists will demonstrate their scientific creations to a panel of distinguished judges, which includes two BlackBerry Employees. All submissions will be judged based on the key criteria of scientific thought, originality, creativity and communication.

Students can compete at one of 102 regional science fairs happening across Canada from now until April 30. For more information visit: https://secure.youthscience.ca/fairlocator/.