The apps range from helping kids go green and get involved in their communities, to an exciting look into the inner workings of inventions and machines. They include:
- Log ‘N Learn,addresses the problem of unsafe and inexperienced driving among young drivers by providing information about driver education (Meyzeek Middle School, Louisville, Kentucky)
- VolunteerMe, provides information about volunteer opportunities in the school or community to take advantage of the younger generation’s interests and willingness to serve (Lime Kiln Middle School, Fulton, Maryland)
- A Look Inside,allows elementary and middle school students to explore the inner workings of different inventions and machines through a virtual take-apart system (Upper St. Clair High School, Pittsburgh)
- Vocal,uses a calendar and social media to help people find and volunteer for causes they want to support (Shades Valley High School, Irondale, Alabama)
- EcoKick, sets up a competitive social media environment that encourages sustainable and green choice (Kyrene Aprende Middle School, Chandler, Arizona)
By participating in the contest, kids are engaged in STEM, (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) while building confidence and fostering a lifelong interest that can help them succeed in the workplace of today and the future. They’re given the freedom to create, think critically, collaborate with their peers and think like entrepreneurs. Winning teams are given the chance to work alongside MIT experts to turn their ideas into real, working Smartphone apps. With over 3 million jobs available in the tech field, the sky is the limit!
Plus, an all-girls team of 6th graders who won the contest two years ago just sold their Hello Navi app to a company who plans to expand it nationwide! Hello Navi was developed to help their blind classmate navigate their school.
The Verizon Innovative App Challenge is simple: students gather teams, dream up ideas and create concepts for mobile apps that could solve problems in their schools and communities. Teams submit entries with just a short video and essay questions – no coding skills needed. Over 100 teams will win $5K grants for their schools and tablets for each team member. Eight will go on to win “Best in Nation”: earning them an additional $15K in grants and the chance to work with MIT Media Lab experts to bring their app to life in the Google Play Store. The contest is open to middle and high school student teams, accepting life-changing ideas from now until November 24, 2015.