(COVINGTON, La.) — St. Paul’s School Computer Science Software Engineering (CSSE) class, with teacher Rachel Peak as their leader, has been named number one in the state for their concept in a national app-making competition.
“The class has entered a Verizon-sponsored competition for $20,000, Samsung Galaxy tablets for the students who enter, and a chance to work with programmers to get their app launched,” Peak said.
The SPS app concept, titled Science Innovation Research Application (SIRA), was created by a team consisting of Sam Brown, Tanner Bruner, Yehia Elkersh, Kameron Lange and Keegan Lange that would serve as a social media site for high school and college students to share scientific research.
“We were so excited to make it through the first round. I was very proud of the work they did. We won Best in State in the high school division and moved on to compete with schools across the South Region: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas,” Peak said.
According to Peak, as a Best in State winner, the class was also invited to participate in a virtual Google+ Hangout webinar with Hugh Herr, a professor at MIT who, as a double amputee, has designed state-of-the-art bionic prosthetics.
To enter the Verizon competition, teams of five to seven students had to enter an idea for an app, answer some essay questions and post a video pitching their ideas on YouTube.
“Since the students were in the Computer Science and Software Engineering class, I added an extra element of having them actually create a prototype with our Android app development software. We were able to actually demo the app in our video, and I think that gave us an edge,” Peak said.
Approximately 308 schools in the South Region covering grades 6-12 entered the competition, which the CSSE class learned about through PLTW.
For information about the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, click here.