Saint Viator student masters coding to design first place app
Saint Viator High School and its Mobile Apps class is on a roll.
Last year, Marcelina Gorny ('23) of Prospect Heights took second place for her app design, and this year Bridget Kopp ('24) of Barrington Hills took first place in a build your own app contest.
The competition was sponsored by the Barrington-based Uncharted Learning and its MobileMakersEdu program. The unique offering is a way to "light up" students around coding and foster an entrepreneurial mindset.
Bridget designed her winning app as part of the Mobile Apps class taught by Rachel Mroz, who also teaches biology and is Saint Viator's STEM coordinator and sponsor of the Coding Club. This fall she will add a new course: Introduction to Engineering Design.
"Each year, I encourage students to submit their final app of the class to this competition," Mroz says. "The final app can be whatever they want, but it has to solve a problem."
Bridget called her app Full Circle. In it, she helps students taking trigonometry who may not have their calculator with them or are struggling to understand the material. She includes four buttons: a trig calculator, function explanation, graphing an angle and practice tests.
According to her teacher, Bridget learned the coding for this app design during the course of the semester, and while coding the trigonometry calculator proved to be the most difficult, Bridget says designing the graphing an angle section was challenging, too.
"I had to import almost 40 different hand-drawn pictures into my code," she says, "because I couldn't find out an easy way to graph the many different angles."
In the end, the panel of five judges loved everything about the app.
Here's how one of them put it: "This is such a cleanly built app, and bravo on offering so many different helpful tools in one app for other trig students."
Mroz agreed and commended her student on designing an app that will help other students successfully navigate their way through trigonometry.
"I cannot wait to see where this app goes," Mroz says. "I'm crossing my fingers it makes its way to the app store soon."
For her part, Bridget won a $100 Amazon gift card and an hour of mentoring and consulting with a professional software developer. But the real rewards extend further, including a working knowledge of coding and building apps that will help her in the real world that relies on technology.