Five math students from Wheeling High School recently competed in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge and won "Best in State." The students, Gosia Markiewicz, Kamila Sikora, Skyler McLenahan, Pranati Mondkar and Jessica Mamalio, along with their faculty adviser and math teacher, Kate Weber, will now move forward in consideration for the national award.
The Verizon Innovative App Challenge provides the opportunity for middle school and high school students to use their science-technology-engineering-mathematics (STEM) knowledge, ingenuity and creativity to come up with an original mobile app concept that incorporates STEM and addresses a need or problem in their school community. The competition offers $10,000 grants for winning schools and Samsung Galaxy Tabs for winning students.
The Wheeling team's "Cook Book Quest" took on the issue of obesity. The group designed an app that allows an individual to play engaging interactive games that look for healthy food choices and use those foods to find smart-eating recipes. Their app concept earned top points in Illinois for its creativity, innovative design and application of STEM principles to the development process. Check out the students' video explanation of their app at the following YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKvxAdXpt0M.
"The girls put a lot of work into the design of the app," said Weber. "They did a great job working together and I am so proud that they earned Best in State!"
"What an exciting accomplishment for this all-girl team of STEM leaders in our school," said Dr. Lazaro Lopez, Wheeling High School principal. "We are appreciative of Verizon, providing this opportunity for our students to apply what they learn in this competitive field of app development."
The Wheeling team received feedback on their design via a live webinar from a distinguished panel of STEM educators and corporate innovators on March 7. On March 18, the team will learn if they have won the top prize at Nationals, allowing them to present their completed app concept at the Technology Student Association's National Conference in Orlando, Fla., June 28-July 2.
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