Apple’s Swift Student Challenge has been around since 2020, giving students all over the world the unique opportunity to showcase their creativity and build real-world skills to bring forward into their future careers and beyond.
About Apple’s Swift Student Challenge
For the uninitiated, Swift is the same programming language used by professionals globally, and the Swift Student Challenge has enabled students to join a worldwide community of developers to create the next wave of groundbreaking apps.
The next challenge will commence in Feb 2024, and will include a brand new category recognizing 50 Distinguished Winners – and will be named for standout submissions.
Interest and Awareness
Coding and app development are found to be highly desirable skills, whether students intend to eventually work in the tech sector or not. The awareness of and access to coding and app development resources are extremely critical for early adopters and learners, and Apple’s Swift Playgrounds app was designed to take learners from their first line of code, to building their very first app in Swift. It is seen as a great tool for beginners to explore, learn, discover, and experiment with coding and app development on iPad and Mac.
Apple’s Community Education Initiative
Apple works with educators around the world to bring app development to students, and supports learners in 99 countries and regions through its Community Education Initiative, such as the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3).
NC3 equips community, technical college, and high school instructors with the hands-on professional development opportunities to teach App Development with Swift. This year, the organization is committing to enabling more students than ever submit their app projects for the Swift Student Challenge in 2024.
Now Everyone Can Code Projects
Apple’s new Everyone Can Code Projects provides step-by-step resources to better equip educators to guide students through every step of their coding and app development journey, and develop skills while creating apps to solve problems and issues they are passionate about.
Everyone Can Code Projects can be easily integrated into any subject area – perfect for the classroom or any kind of coding club. They introduce students to SwiftUI – a modern way to build user interfaces with surprisingly little code – and tap on the latest app-building technologies in Swift Playgrounds. The cool thing about this, is that as they code, students can see in real time – how their app changes with App Preview.
Four new projects available today include:
- Design a Simple App: Students can easily create an app prototype in Keynote to quickly learn the fundamentals of app design, practice rapid prototyping, and collect feedback – following the same work stream as professional developers.
- Build with Stacks and Shapes: Students can proactively take the first steps of building an app in Swift Playgrounds and code a self-portrait, or a work of art using SwiftUI to pick up the fundamentals of user interface design.
- Build Custom Shapes: Students can bring an app interface to the next level by designing a shape, learning how to plot the coordinates, and coding their custom shape using SwiftUI and the About Me sample app within Swift Playgrounds.
- Design an App Icon: Students can learn and apply app design principles to create a unique app icon that communicates an idea; practice rapid prototyping; collect feedback; and upload the icon to Swift Playgrounds to become a part of an app.
New resources for teaching coding and app development with Swift Playgrounds, including the four new Everyone Can Code Projects, are now available in the Apple Education Community. Swift Playgrounds 4.4 is available now and includes support for Swift 5.9, and SDKs for iPadOS 17 and macOS Sonoma.
How and When to Submit
Students will be invited to submit their app playgrounds for the Swift Student Challenge during a three-week window in Feb 2024. Sign up here to be notified when the challenge is open.
Out of 350 overall winners, 50 Distinguished Winners will be invited to Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California in 2024, where they will have the esteemed opportunity to connect with each other and the Apple team. All winners will receive a one-year membership into the Apple Developer Programme, which allows them to submit apps to the App Store and receive support from Apple.