Four Yu Neng Primary School students co-create money management gaming app with OCBC
SINGAPORE — Four 10-year-old students from Yu Neng Primary School have co-created – from conceptualisation to coding – a financial literary app named The Mighty Savers with OCBC Bank Technology and Experience Design specialists.
The seven month-long collaboration brought together two OCBC Bank mobile developers, an experience designer and the primary four students to co-create a unique game that teaches wise spending, differentiating needs and wants, sound investment, saving more with compounded interest and giving to others.
The game concept by Charmaine Thoi, Cheryl Ho, Seng Hui Ting and Toh Yi Xuan was selected out of five proposals submitted by 20 students from the school's Infocomm Club by the school's teachers and OCBC Bank for its simplicity and relevance to youngsters.
The game was launched this afternoon (Nov 16) by Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, OCBC Bank'sm chairman Mr Ooi Sang Kuang, Group Chief Executive Officer Samuel Tsien, and Mrs Clara Lim-Tan, Principal of Yu Neng Primary School.
The interactive app, designed for children aged 7-12, is aimed at encouraging young kids to be early adopters of good money management.
In the game, players start by earning money as a food server or bus driver. Players are then allowed to decide between furnishing their room or investing for the future as well as answer topical quizzes on savings and earning interest.
Toh Yi Xuan, one of the students involved in this project, elaborated on their inspiration: "We thought about what a bankrupt would face and decided that an empty home that requires furnishing could be feasible."
Describing the opportunity as a good way to learn more about financial literacy and developing games, Yi Xuan was at first intimidated by the experience but soon found it enjoyable.
The students worked closely with their mentors to enhance their coding skills and learn about an enhanced software called Gamemaker as well as how to use Illustrator and Photoshop.
"To conceptualise the game, how it flows and draw the characters were challenging. We had to go back to the drawing board at times to revise ideas with the help of the OCBC mentors and our teachers. We had to think of how the game will flow and code part of the game," said Yi Xuan.
This new game will be incorporated into OCBC Bank's popular OCBC Mighty Savers® programme to engage its customer base of young savers to be early adopters of good money management habits.
OCBC Banks' chairman, Mr Ooi Sang Kuang, said: "This project is the first of its kind in Singapore. We are proud and – yes, excited – to pioneer this info-comm collaboration, in aid of teaching money management skills to the young. We see the benefits of such a collaboration and hope there will be many more."
Yu Neng Primary, which has an existing niche in Information and communications technology, is one of the schools that participated in the trial of the Code for Fun enrichment programme – jointly developed by MOE and IDA – to increase students' exposure to coding and computational thinking. The enrichment programme is part of the Code@SG movement and so far, more than 480 students from the school have participated in the initiative and are able to code programmes ranging from games to animation and more than 50,000 students nationwide have benefited from it.
Mrs Clara Lim-Tan, Principal of Yu Neng Primary School said: "We believe that strategic partnerships with industry and community bring about authentic and powerful learning experiences and opportunities. They profoundly broaden and enrich our students' learning and go a significant way in preparing them to be future-ready through the mastery of skills from young."
The experience has piqued the young students' interest and encouraged them to dream big.
"We might want to go into app or game development in the future," she said. "We hope to develop apps that will benefit others in the community."
The Mighty Savers app is available for free download at the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The desktop version is also available for download at the OCBC website — OCBC Mighty Savers page.
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