Middle School Students Finalists in Verizon App Contest
Final winners will work with Verizon and MIT to turn their app concept into reality.
There's an app for that, and students from Jefferson Township Middle School know all about it.
The Verizon Foundation, based in Basking Ridge, announced Monday that the student team from Jefferson Township Middle School was one of 10 schools selected nationwide as a winner of the Verizon Innovative App Challenge.
Verizon in Basking Ridge already had hosted a live webinar earlier this month inviting two finalist schools from each state and Washington, D.C. to ask professionals about applications development and careers in science and technology.
The Jefferson students’ winning app concept is called Invase Erase, which identifies invasive species that attaché the environment and provides solutions to minimize and/or contain them.
More than 470 student teams from across the country submitted concepts for the Innovative App Challenge, sponsored by the Verizon Foundation.
What students won
The Jefferson students and other winning teams will work with Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab and Verizon employees to build their ideas into apps that will be available for download in the Google Play Store later this summer.
The winning Jefferson students are all in eighth grade, and are Jennifer Krakowski, Daniel Zhao, Jenni Silverstein, Mackenzie Thumser, Krista Becker, Katie Cocca and Amelia Karim, said Ellen Yu, media spokeswoman for the Verizon Foundation.
Each member of the winning team also will receive the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, courtesy of Samsung, and the school will each receive a $10,000 Verizon Foundation cash grant to put toward their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education programs.
School officials and Verizon representatives traveled to the the school on Weldon Road in the Oak Ridge section of Jefferson on Monday afternoon to notify the students that they had been selected.
The students had taken advantage of the proximity of lakes, including Lake Hopatcong, to help come up with an app to help identify invasive species in lakes, Yu said.
The competition, the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, was created by the Verizon Foundation in partnership with the Technology Student Association to help boost student engagement and interest in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. The students were asked to use their STEM skills to design app concepts that provided real-world solutions for issues in their communities or schools.
The winning teams will now work on bringing their concepts to market with the help of MIT and Verizon professionals.
The winning teams — from five middle schools and five high schools — and their app concepts are:
- Bronx Academy of Promise, New York City — Quest Math, which helps students increase their speed in basic math computations through a mythology-themed game.
- Emory H. Markle Intermediate, Hanover, Pa. — Voice Notes, which revolutionizes note-taking for students with disabilities and organizes information to create effective study guides.
- Friends’ Central School, Wynnewood, Pa. — STEAMnet, which is designed to support creative thinking and virtual collaboration, especially outside the standard school day.
- ·Forney High School, Forney, Texas — One|Place, which offers students, faculty and the community one location to find details about upcoming school and community events.
- Hampstead Academy, Hampstead, N.H. – Chow Checker, which easily identifies the ingredients of food products to help individuals with allergies avoid problem foods.
- Jefferson Township Middle School, Oak Ridge, N.J. — Invase Erase, which that identifies invasive species that attack the environment and provides solutions to minimize and/or contain them.
- Rock Canyon High School, Highlands Ranch, Colo. – CaringHands, which increases awareness of global problems and allows the user to donate directly to charities supporting solutions to these issues.
- South River High School, Edgewater, Md. — Study Buddy, which helps students develop better time-management skills to get assignments done on time.
- Spalding Catholic High School, Granville, Iowa — AgNote MAX, which makes it easier to track all aspects of farming.
- STEM Center Middle School, West Fargo, N.D. — Recycling Bin, which encourages members of local communities to increase recycling efforts and reduce the need for landfills.
“It’s clear that technology can get kids excited about learning, and it was delightful to see the care and thoughtfulness these students put into developing a solution to a problem,” said Rose Stuckey Kirk, president of the Verizon Foundation. “We were impressed by their creativity, their ability to collaborate as a team, and their interest in developing a mobile app.”