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Fairfield 'STEMinists' design app to help with dementia

A team of ladies from Fairfield High School for Girls have come up with an idea app that could transform the lives of those suffering from Alzheimer's and their families.

Five girls from the Droylsden school have teamed up over the past months to develop the idea as part of Amazon’s Longitude Explorer Prize.

The competition challenges teenagers from across the country to develop technological solutions to the big societal challenges of our time.

The group were part of the final 40 shortlisted and could be in with a chance of winning £20,000 to make their idea a reality.

Shomili Biswas, Leah Tailor, Lilly Stafford, Laaibah Azam and Brogan Freeman teamed up in their free time to develop the idea behind ‘Remember When’, a mobile phone app that would help those suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia and their families.

The team have first hand experience of the disease, with one of the children’s family members suffering with it.

The app allows family members to track those suffering from the disease via GPS, has reminders for things such as medication and includes memory games.

The students had to develop the idea and provide a full business plan including market research, prototyping and design.

Leah Tailor, who worked on the plan, said: “It’s a competition to create the best app.

“If you win you get £20,000 to develop the app or if you win the public vote you get £5,000 which can be used.”

Brogan Freeman added: “I’m proud that we were able to stick to time and complete it all.”

It is an especially poignant app for Fairfield headteacher, Stephanie Bateman, who’s mother suffers with the disease, unbeknownst to the students.

She said: “I’m immensely proud. I feel very passionately about dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

“The girls don’t know this because its something very personal to me because I had to put my mum into residential care this year because she suffers from Alzheimer’s so what you’ve done and what you feel about how we can help and support people in the community is absolutely crucial because it’s about humanity.

Mrs Bateman is also passionate about the advancement of girls in Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, christening the group the ‘STEMinists’.

“As a girls school it is very important to me that we encourage girls to excel in science, engineering and mathematics. We are not represented enough in those fields.

“It's about pushing the boundaries. Let's do something different, lets open up barriers and open up horizons. Let’s look beyond where we are now. These are the girls that we will be pushing to apply for the Cambridge summer school.”

Voting is now closed and the girls face an anxious wait to find out if they’ve won.

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