Caius Dobson and Jacob Luxton are 15-years old, love to game and just completed ninth grade at Grey Highlands Secondary School in Flesherton, Ont., a small town of 700. While they seem like your average teenagers, they’re not. Their passion for programming won them $10,000.
“We were absolutely blown away when we found out that we had won,” said Jacob.
In January 2016, the pair competed in the third annual app development contest, Kiss My App hosted by the Central West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC), Headwaters Health Care Centre and William Osler Health System.
According to Jacob, the two were influenced by friends to start coding but found out about the competition from his aunt. Before entering Kiss My App, Caius explains they didn’t have a big idea for an app or even a reason to stick to creating one. The contest gave them a reason and the result was their winning app, Emerg. Master.
The app allows gamers to play as patients navigating through the emergency department within the hospitals. During the patients stay, they learn more about services offered by the hospitals as well as community care services through conversations with different characters and mini-games.
“Our love for programming began when we started playing video games. Both of us find it extremely interesting, and hope to one day work as professional programmers,” said Caius.
“I feel excited, very impressed. All this time playing and sitting on computers actually got them somewhere,” laughed Cauis’ father, Paul Dobson.
Emerg. Master was released June 28, 2016 for Android on the Google Play store.
The contest prize of $10,000 was generously donated by Vena Solutions, a corporate performance management solutions company.