October 18, 2012 | Education
Verizon Innovative App Challenge Encourages Students’ Interest in STEM
The Verizon Foundation Challenges Middle and High School Students to Develop a Mobile App Concept, Win Great Prizes and Have Fun Learning.
Every day in schools across the nation, students are told to turn off and put away their mobile devices. The Verizon Foundation’s newly-launched initiative hopes to change this, and in the process demonstrate how mobile phones and tablets can be used in the classroom to keep students engaged and learning.
The Verizon Innovative App Challenge is an exciting competition that offers middle school and high school students the chance to learn new skills, win great prizes and have fun doing it. The Challenge is a collaborative effort between the Verizon Foundation, Technology Student Association and Samsung, created to ignite students’ interest in science, engineering, technology and math.
Student Interest in STEM is Critical
Student engagement in STEM is critical to U.S. economic growth and competitiveness. Over the last decade, STEM job openings have outpaced the supply of qualified candidates by a wide margin. And according to the National Science Board, only 6% of ninth graders ultimately choose a STEM-related degree in college.
Verizon Foundation President Rose Kirk announced the App Challenge on October 17th, at Assabet Vocational High School, in Marlborough, MA. In addressing the students present, she spoke of Verizon’s commitment to STEM learning and its importance in our future and theirs.
“We desperately need future generations of knowledge workers who are creative thinkers, enjoy taking on challenges and know how to solve problems”, said Kirk. “That is why, at Verizon Foundation, we are using technology to help kids tap into their creative, dynamic and innovative thinking.”
How does the Challenge Work?
Working with a faculty advisor, students in teams of 5-10 will develop an original concept for a mobile app that incorporates STEM and addresses a real need or problem in their school or community. To guide students, a set of instructional videos on app design and development were created Verizon’s Innovative Center engineers and will be available on the App Challenge website, www.VerizonFoundaton.org/AppChallenge/.
A distinguished panel of STEM educators and corporate innovators will select the winning teams (5 middle schools and 5 high schools), who receive a $10,000 grant for their school, as well as a Samsung Galaxy Tab for each student on the team.
The Verizon Innovative App Challenge offers a rich, project-based learning experience that fosters teamwork and encourages participation from students regardless of their academic interests and strengths. Because the teams are judged only on their innovative app concept, the Challenge encourages participation from any middle school or high school student that possesses creativity, imagination and desire to make a difference.
Registration for the Challenge opened October 15th, and teams are able to submit their app concepts from December 1, 2012 through January 18, 2013.
To learn more about the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, visit www.verizonfoundation.org/AppChallenge/.
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