A TEAM of school children from York are in with a chance of winning £20,000 after beating hundreds of youngsters from across the UK to make it to the finals of the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize.

The pupils from Fulford School dreamt up an app called LESLI that uses data from weekly mental health check surveys to recognise patterns in mood, and in turn, provide relevant, helpful resources.

The Amazon Longitude Explorer ‘tech-for-good’ prize for young people pairs entrepreneurial skills not usually taught in the classroom with the STEM curriculum to encourage young innovators from across the UK aged 11-16 to create tech solutions to the big challenges of our time - like climate change, healthy living, ageing well and staying better connected.

The team from Fulford and the 39 other teams in the running will now work with tech industry mentors to develop prototypes of their ideas ahead of the final judging in July.

The winning team will get £20,000 for their school, with three runner-up teams to be awarded £5,000 each for their school or youth groups.

Lauren Kisser, Director at Amazon’s Development Centre in Cambridge, and Judge for the Amazon Longitude Explorer Prize, said: “Supporting young people to discover a passion for - and ultimately consider future careers in - STEM is more vital than ever, and it’s fantastic to see such great engagement in the prize across the country. It’s been a joy to see what the nation’s next generation of inventors and innovators have come up with, especially under such unusual and challenging circumstances this year.

“The Amazon Longitude Explorer prize is part of Amazon Future Engineer, our comprehensive childhood-to-career programme to inspire, educate and enable children and young adults from lower-income backgrounds to discover computer science and engineering. We’re looking forward to getting started with the mentorship programme and seeing the finalists’ ideas come to life.”

Jacqueline de Rojas, CBE, President at techUK, and fello prize judge, said: “Whittling down all of the amazing entries was incredibly difficult but we are delighted to be able to share 40 deserving finalists.

“The submissions have been really innovative in the way they have applied technology and real-world promise and bringing with them potential for huge impact. It will be a privilege to watch these innovative ideas blossom with support from industry experts, alongside the passion, skills and confidence of the talented young people taking part.”