This year, we held the sixth annual ECCE App Challenge since the competition began in 2015. It has been a long wait for the first teams that started their projects over two months ago, on February 14th. The final team to participate this year completed their work just over two weeks ago, on April 5th. In total, 17 teams from ECCE schools across Canada participated in the App Challenge this year. As each individual team starts the App Challenge on the scheduled date chosen for their school, the theme of the current year is revealed to its members, and they are given one week to complete their projects. For 2020, the theme chosen for the App Challenge was Health.

The profiles for all of the teams, live demos of their apps, video presentations, and documentation have all been published in our GitHub web page for the App Challenge: We encourage you to take some time to meet the teams, and check out what they were able to accomplish. If you are on Twitter, follow our @EsriCanada_CE handle, and join us in congratulating them all on their collective achievement.

Visit the ECCE App Challenge GitHub Web page to view all of the 2020 teams.

Of course, 2020 has been a year like no other for the App Challenge, with the outbreak of COVID-19 being declared a pandemic on March 11th. By that point in time, 10 teams from 6 different ECCE schools had already completed their projects, while at least a dozen more teams from the remaining 6 ECCE schools were prepared to start in the following weeks. Once campuses had been closed and all students needed to stay home and finish the winter term while in self-isolation, participating in a team-based activity like the App Challenge became much more complicated. Ultimately, 7 more teams chose to persevere, and proceeded with the App Challenge despite only being able to collaborate with each other remotely.

While health was chosen as the theme of the App Challenge this year well in advance of the start of the competition, it seems that this was rather appropriate given the context of the unfolding global pandemic. It is no surprise that COVID-19 emerged a subject chosen by many teams as the focus for their applications. Still, a variety of topics were selected by different teams, who created many interesting applications built using open data and Esri technology, seeking to address a range of environmental and human health issues.

We will begin judging the teams’ projects soon, and plan to announce winners by the end of the month!