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It has been over a year and COVID-19 is still raging around the world. To contain the virus, governments worldwide have demanded people to stay home, discouraged unnecessary travels and social contacts, and even suspended work and classes. The pandemic has significantly impacted people’s daily life. In addition to bringing about restrictions in everyday life, it has also distanced people from one another and their communities, affecting their physical and mental health, and exacerbated the disadvantaged communities’ plight. However, with the development of technology, human can exercise their wisdom nimbly to overcome social distancing and resume essential activities in a new way. For example, people can work from home, take classes and socialise through the internet, communication software and apps.

Artificial intelligence and big data also play important roles in fighting against COVID-19. For example, scientists develop ‘public health data visualisation’ for early detection, intervention and prevention of virus transmission, while sterilisation robots come in useful in the control of virus transmission, etc. By identifying problems, using creativity, and mastering digital tools and technology skills, we can develop new innovative solutions and apps, to create a new normal by reshaping our future lives and communities.

To encourage civic innovations by primary and secondary school students under the pandemic, Hong Kong Education City (EdCity) and HKUST-Lee Kum Kee Happy Family Learning Center are jointly organising the ‘Code2App 2021’. This year, the theme is ‘Healthy Lifestyle in the New Normal’. With their creativity, coding skills and computational thinking, students can develop Android apps that help improve the quality of life of the general public, contributing to a better and sustainable society under the epidemic in the new normal.


A. Objectives

  1. Empower teachers and students to utilise computational thinking to code using App Inventor
  2. Stimulate students’ creativity and apply computational thinking through the development of an Android app in the related theme 
  3. Enhance students’ interests and knowledge about AI and data technology, and enable them to master the skills for solving real-life problems


B. Learning Journey

The scheme is a learning journey consists of three major components: ‘Learning’, ‘Contest’ and ‘Extension’.

Part 1 – Learning

  • An online course on App Inventor and workshops are offered for participants to learn coding and computational thinking.
  • Online Course: The course includes training on computational thinking and how to use MIT App Inventor for participants to understand the design principles behind application coding. Teachers are also welcome to register and make use of online course materials for school lessons.

Click here to register for the course and login using HKEdCity's account.

  • Workshops: Teachers and students can participate in hands-on workshops and experience developing interesting Android apps.


Part 2 – Contest

  • Participants can opt to enter the Application Development Contest of next stage, in which they will create an Android app echoing the ‘Healthy Lifestyle in the New Normal’ theme with what they have learnt in the course and workshops.
  • There is no limit on the number of participating teams for each school, while each team should consist of 3 students.
  • Participating teams should build related Android apps with App Inventor.
  • Participating teams can include AI modelling in their submissions, and compete for the ‘AI Application Award’.
  • The ‘Family Inclusive Award’will be given to the finalist who can best demonstrate the involvement of family members during the process of making or using the app OR the impact of promoting family relationships through the use of the app.


Part 3 – Extension

  • Shortlisted finalists will present their ideas and works before the judging panel in late June.
  • Besides competing for the awards, finalists can also join the free STEM courses and activities at HKUST during summer holiday, and further their journey to become coding experts.

Learning Journey


C. Contest Details


  • Primary School Division (P4 – P6)
  • Secondary School Division (S1 – S4)

Suggested Resources for Both Teachers and Students

  • The learning resources and background information for App Inventor, along with the detailed instructions, are available at: http://hkvu.hk/code2app.
  • Additional online courses in Chinese Medicine and Psychology will be offered for free to serve as optional supporting materials related to the theme.

Rules & Regulations

  1. There is no limit on the number of participating teams for each school, and each team should consist of 3 students.
  2. Participating teams need to build Android apps that echo the ‘Healthy Lifestyle in the New Normal’ theme. For example, the app can:
    1. track or monitor the flow of necessary goods in the community, and help the community to properly allocate resources;
    2. suggest leisure activities in the local community, rebuild public spaces, and improve the quality of life; 
    3. help resolve inconvenience and difficulties for the elderly in the epidemic;
    4. provide safe and convenient daily services for users to develop habits for better wellness; or
    5. help users to overcome social distance and rebuild social relationships.
  3. Each team needs to submit:
    1. Introductory Video (3 minutes maximum, demonstrating how the app achoes the theme)
    2. Introductory PowerPoint file (10 slides at most, introducing the design ideas of the entry, the problem to be solved, the technical aspect of the app, etc.)
    3. App Inventor project file (aia file, 10MB maximum file size) and the Application package file (apk file)
    4. The use of communication between App Inventor and IoT devices is allowed.
  4. Shortlisted finalist team members will give a 5-minute presentation, followed by a 5-minute question-and-answer session before the judging panel in late June.
  5. Each team can only submit one entry.
  6. Entries of the finalists will be additionally assessed to compete for the ‘AI Application Award’. Judging criteria:
    1. The AI solutions used are suitable for solving problems in the project.
    2. The AI solutions are proficiently implemented.
  7. Entries of the finalists will be additionally assessed to compete for the ‘Family Inclusive Award’. Judging criteria:
    1. The degree of family involvement during the process of making or using the submitted App; or
    2. The impact of promoting family relationships through the use of the submitted App.
  8. All entries must be original and not be published on other occasions before. By submitting an entry, the participant affirms that the entry neither contains any third party copyrighted materials nor infringes any intellectual property rights of any third parties.
  9. Submission of any entry indicates that the participant has read and accepted the Rules & Regulations of the competition.
  10. The Organisers reserve the right to exhibit the participants’ ideas/Apps. 
  11. Copyrights of the ideas/apps are retained by the participants themselves.
  12. The Organisers reserve the right to amend, extend and interpret the competition guideline and rules without prior notice.
  13. A certificate will be issued to students who have completed the student training workshops.
  14. In case of any dispute, the Organisers reserve the right of final decision.



  • Each division: champion, 1st runner-up, 2nd runner-up, the 'AI Application Award' and the 'Family Inclusive Award' winner will receive amazing prizes.
  • The finalists can take a free credit-bearing course and/or join a free STEM workshop in HKUST during the summer holiday.



5 March (Fri) Registration of competition
5 March (Fri) Commencement of self-paced online course
23 March (Tue) Student workshop (beginner level) [optional]
23 March (Tue) Start of Submission period of Apps, PowerPoint slides and introductory videos
13 April (Tue) Student workshop (advanced level) [optional]
21 May (Fri) Registration Deadline of the competition
26 May (Wed) 6:00pm Submission deadline of Apps, PowerPoint slides and introductory videos
21 June Announcement of finalists
10 July Grand final presentation and award ceremony


Note: The Chinese title of the Code2App 2021 challenge  incorporates the transliteration of the English word 'LOHAS', which stands for 'Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability'.



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