Maine schools are invited to enter the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, a creative and collaborative competition that offers up to $20,000 in grants for winning middle schools and high schools. Designed to ignite students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), the Challenge shows students exciting new possibilities for their futures, opening doors they may never have known were there.
Working with a faculty advisor in teams of five to seven students, participants develop an original concept for a mobile app that incorporates STEM principles and content and addresses a real need or problem in their school or community. While designing their apps, students consider marketplace need, usefulness, audience and viability and align their app concept with one of the three Verizon Foundation focus areas of education, energy management or healthcare. Teams submit their design concepts online through an app concept overview and summary, a three-to-five minute video and essay responses.
One middle school and one high school team from each state will be judged “Best in State” and be eligible for consideration as “Best in Region” winners. Team members will be invited to participate in a live STEM related webinar hosted by the Verizon Foundation.
Best in Region winners will be selected from the Best in State teams around the country based on a judging rubric. Each of the 24 regional winning schools (12 middle school and 12 high school teams) will receive $5,000 cash grants plus virtual support and training to help them build out their app concepts.
A distinguished panel of STEM educators and corporate innovators will then judge the Best in Region teams’ app concepts and designs based on their online submissions and their presentations during a live webinar. The four top middle school and four top high school teams will be selected and announced as 2015 Verizon Innovative App Challenge winners. Each team will receive additional $15,000 cash grants plus professional support and training to help them build out their app concepts and bring them to life. All of the 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 2015 National Technology Student Association Conference in Dallas, Texas next June.
Registration is now open and can be completed by visiting appchallenge.tsaweb.org.