Sign-language app created by Irish students scoops European prize

25 Jul 2012

(From left) Four of the students, Colleen Mullane, Chris O'Brien, Ciara Reed and Caoimhe O'Neill

Five Irish students have returned to Dublin Airport today after winning a European competition for junior achievers in Bucharest, Romania. The students won out over teams from 32 countries for their sign-language app Sign4Life.

The students themselves hail from Salesian Secondary College in Pallaskenry, Co Limerick. Their app, which teaches sign language using video technology, apparently covers sign language in categories such as food, numbers, sport, calendar, colours and family.

And the students said their template can be adapted to any international language.

The official title of the award the Irish students won is Company of the Year 2012, a European competition run by the not-for-profit organisation Junior Achievement. In Ireland, it works to bring enterprise, science, maths and life skills to primary and secondary school students.

The Limerick students had headed to the European finals in Bucharest as they initially won the national Junior Achievement young entrepreneur finals that had been sponsored by Citi.

As part of the European finals in Bucharest, the team had to promote and sell their product, perform a stage presentation and complete interviews with the judging panel.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic