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Build an App Challenge

 

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This was a Challenge where participants were invited to submit a concept for a mobile application (App) to be used for the Majjistral Nature and History Park. The winners were chosen following a pre-set evolution process. 

The Challenge was aimed at promoting entrepreneurship, creativity, and technical skills through the development of an App during the summer period and to provide a rich learning experience for physical or virtual visitors to the Majjistral Nature and History Park.  To view the Challenge’s original brochure, click here​

On Saturday 25th October, the students launched the app through a press conference with the presence of Hons Minister Leo Brincat, Hons. Parliamentary Secretary Jose Herrera, the MITA Chairman Tony Sultana and the Majjistral park Chairperson Dr. Carmen Sammut.  The app is available for the everyone free of charge and can be downloaded from ​here​

The winners of the Majjistral Park App Challenge were named and have started to work on the development of the app at the MITA Innovation Hub at Smart City Malta.  For more information about the participants, read below each of their personal biography.

Nicholas Galea



I’m a 20 year old student currently reading for my B.Sc. IT Software Development course at University of Malta. My passion in general is anything related to nature. I am in fact a birdwatcher and I regularly do volunteer work for BirdLife Malta in the Nature Reserves. I visit Majjistral Park very often to watch birds and enjoy a quiet walk along the Park’s numerous paths.  I also enjoy nature photography where the park is an excellent place for this, especially during bird migration.  This is of course what inspired me to compete for the MITA - Majjistral Park app competition.

My other passion is ICT, particularly, mobile technology.  In fact my future aspirations are to build a career which brings together my passion for nature using ICT and to hopefully help inspire other people to become closer to nature.  

During my secondary school I built a website about birds and birdwatching in Malta: www.birdinginmalta.com. I am proud to say that it is the only website on birds in Malta.  I receive numerous requests from people globally for advice about birdwatching locally. I also get requests from school teachers, scout groups and similar groups of people who require information to help them build a lesson plan or an activity for their pupils.  

When building the app concept for the competition, I tried to incorporate user friendly information about the subject.  I would in fact describe the app as a ‘guidance tool’ for the Park visitors, both from an information perspective as well as from a navigation perspective: including people interested in hiking, wildlife watching and snorkeling.

I look forward to working with my colleagues at the MITA Innovation Hub and other experts made available to us by MITA, to make this app a success!

Kurt Dalli



Having just finished studying Pure Maths and Physics at Saint Aloysius College Sixth Form, I have been interested in computing for as long as I can remember. After having started programming in secondary school at Savio College, software development became a means of self expression and an outlet to problem solving. 

Another important part of my life is tracking and cross country running.  I have pursued the sport even at an international level. Cross country being an outdoor sport practiced within nature has helped in making me appreciate further the beauty of our environment and our responsibility to conserve it. Through this competition I have learnt that everyone has a key role to play in environmental conservation, even through software development, an area not evidently linked to nature.

During my sixth form schooling, entrepreneurship became a new interest, through which I could apply my technical background and allow me to take on a more business-oriented dimension. I acquire this perspective through my participation in the Junior Achiever Young Enterprise Competition.  Together with my team, I cofounded ThinkSync, and we were awarded the ‘Most Creative Product/Service Award’. This therefore inspired me to participate in the MITA Majjistral Park App Challenge.  I aim to continue my studies in Pure Mathematics and Physics at the University of Malta as well as continue developing applications through a start-up I have setup together with a friend called ‘SkyLabs Malta’. 

James Zammit



Technology started to intrigue me from a very young age, to the extent that I started writing code at the age of 13.  Always trying to get my hands on as many projects as possible, I was part of various initiatives related to technology. While studying at Saint Aloysius Sixth Form, I collaborated with the Managing Director of the Corinthia Group Malta in a project called ‘iApply’, as part of the Junior Achiever Award. Furthermore, during this same scholastic year, together with a fellow school mate, we developed ‘Sonic Ball’, a fall down type game where the user must tilt the device accordingly to control a ball via the device accelerometer. We also developed an app for this year’s MEP (Malta Europe Parliament) Elections.

The following summer, I had a short working experience at a local electronics store as a technician.  A couple of months later I had the honor of being awarded a scholarship by Apple Inc. to attend WWDC; a renowned worldwide developer’s conference 2013 for my programming expertise. This award and the success garnered from the development of the apps continued to fuel my determination to develop and work on interesting projects/products.

I also took part in startup Weekend at Smart City as well as having developed an app ‘Distract Me’ and was awarded the Junior Achiever Young Enterprise Company of the Year Award of 2014.

Keen to learn and improve on my knowledge and competences, I decided to take on the MITA challenge to the best of my abilities to create an app that is truly deserving of the Majjistral National Park. 

Elisa Calleja



From a very early age, I discovered art and writing as a way to express myself. At the age of 11, I transferred my skills in art to the digital world, creating photo manipulations and digital art using Adobe software. I also developed various game plots, combining both my passion for writing and design. Four years ago I started working as a freelance designer, first, focusing on printed design, and later, expanded my portfolio by designing websites and mobile applications. I draw my inspiration from geometric shapes due to my background in mathematics and nature, combining the two to create truly unique designs.

My love for creating stunning designs has urged me to set up my own company, Elle Designs (www.elisacalleja.com​), with clients both locally and abroad. My eye for detail and strong passion for creating beautiful designs have put me at the perfect position to complement developers in merging functionality and design seamlessly. 

I started my educational journey at San Anton School and continued my studies in Saint Aloysius Sixth Form. My post secondary schooling subjects were Pure Mathematics and Physics, Philosophy, English and Technical Drawing. 

I am an eager learner, continuously seeking interesting material to help my inspirations.  Through the MITA Majjistral App challenge, I am looking to acquire coding skills, to complement my skills in graphic design.  Being very enthusiastic about entrepreneurship, my ambition is to develop innovative ideas with the skills obtained through graphic design and coding.