Congratulations to the Business Management/Entrepreneurship class from Long Branch High School, for winning the Best in State in the 2013 Verizon App Challenge.
Middle and high school students from around the country competed in developing an original concept for a mobile app that incorporates STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and addresses a real need or problem in their school or community.
Carol Arcomano, Business/Careers Teacher at Long Branch High School, led the students had just less than two months to develop and create the app for a mobile device that incorporates STEM skills.
While designing their apps, students considered a marketplace need, usefulness, audience and viability. They came up with the idea of iCan after conducting two random surveys of Long Branch High School students about volunteering and giving back to their community. They invited guest speakers from within the school to talk to them and help support their concept.
Results of the survey revealed that many students volunteer very little or not at all for a variety of reasons. That led to the birth of iCan, which is designed to help teenagers find volunteer opportunities and community service conveniently and easily, and keeps track of their time and events.
When the judges of the nationwide contest reviewed iCan, it quickly earned top points in the state for its creativity, innovative design, and application of STEM principles to the development process. It was a last minute suggestion given by Kristin Ferrara, Long Branch High School Visual and Performing Arts Administrator.
“I couldn’t have been more ready to show that STEM-related skills can be demonstrated and exercised in any subject area,” said Arcomano. “I’m the most proud of my students for their innovation and endurance for sticking out this endeavor. This project gave them a taste of the real-life challenges they will face throughout their lifetime.”
Sophomore Lorena Pesso said, “The project was an experience of what the real world is like. It brought much stress but it paid off.”
“I feel like the App Challenge made me push my brain because I had to see the app as a developer’s view and a consumer’s view,” said David Alequin, a senior. “It was hard because seeing it from the consumer’s view, they want certain things and from the developer’s view you have to keep the consumers happy.”
For freshman Taylor Hill the best part of the experience was working with other students. “Working as a team was the best part of this project. It helped us gain communication skills and taught us how to work well together,” said Hill.
If chosen as one of the best apps in Nation, Long Branch High School will receive $10,000 cash grant plus professional support and training to help them bring their designs to life by building their apps and bringing them to the marketplace.
Students on each winning team will receive a Samsung Galaxy Tab and be invited to present their developed apps in person – on their new tablets – at the 2013 National Technology Student Association Conference in Orlando, Florida in June. “The App Challenge was very complicated and hard to organize,” said Charles Compton, a senior.
Final winners in the Nation will be announced March 18, 2013.