Maumee Valley team wins regional app competitionWritten by Guest Author | | GuestAuthor@toledofreepress.com
By Chase Will
Toledo Free Press Staff Writer
A team of local sixth-graders recently won a regional app competition and are now in the running for a national award.
Following their regional victory in the 2014 Verizon Innovation App Challenge earlier this month, the Maumee Valley Country Day School (MVCDS) team progressed to the national-level competition. The winning team will be announced Feb. 17.
Brian Soash, an upper intermediate teacher at MVCDS, said he asked for student volunteers when he learned of the competition, and seven boys stepped forward. Together, they conceptualized an app and wrote an essay describing how it revolved around the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) process.
The students named their app Beachteria. The app will allow users to pull information from different websites about the safety of beaches in the Great Lakes area, such as whether or not a particular beach is open. The app also includes mini-games that teach about the causes of E. coli and other forms of bacteria.
“They’re very engaged students, and they’ve really enjoyed the process,” Soash said. “They’re able to use their interest in technology to really do some good in the world, which is a strong point of their participation.”
Utilization of technology at MVCDS played a large role in the creative process. The participating students were able to work together on a shared digital document, where they wrote their essay outlining ideas for the app, which is now in the process of being created.
As regional winners, the seven students will receive access to an online course in which app development experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will virtually assist the team with bringing their app to market. The team was also awarded a $5,000 grant for their winning essay, which will go toward the STEM program at MVCDS. The app is projected to be completed by June 1.
For more information, visit appchallenge.tsaweb.org.