STEMGirls Develop App for National Competition
According to some news sources, over 70 billion apps will be downloaded in 2013. Some of those apps might be created by students at DSST Public Schools.
Thirty-five female students in the STEMgirls program at DSST: Cole Middle School are entering the 2013 Technovation Challenge, a national competition that allows female students to create and develop an app for the Android market. Over the past few years, this national competition has catered only to high school students. 2013 marks the first year middle school girls will be allowed to compete in the Technovation Challenge. The fact that they go up against older students is not a problem for the STEM elective class at Cole.
"I like being able to tell people that I can make apps," said seventh grader Diaraye. "It feels like we're playing around on our computers, but we're learning about app technology and computer science."
A winner will be chosen from each region of the country to compete at the national competition in San Francisco. The winners of the grand prize will receive $10,000 and their app will be put into production on the android market. Jackie Blizzard, who teaches the STEMgirls elective at DSST: Cole, says her class is curious about learning new things and this competition is a perfect opportunity for her students.
"They want to work hard and this is something they want to excel at. They are doing a great job!" says Blizzard.
Blizzard has broken her class into seven teams, each creating an app. The apps range from educational to entertaining. For example, one app is a game to help students study, while another helps students report bullying.
The competition is not just about learning code or computer science. It is also about learning how to build a business. In addition to creating an app, the students must put together a business plan and a video pitch for their product.