Local

February 14, 2014

Smith Middle School technology students win ‘Best in State’ title

Tags:
Gabrielle Kuholski
Staff Writer

Top row from left, Colonel Smith Middle School eighth grade students Thomas Hakes, 13; Joshua Merrick, 13; Joel Pagan, 14; and bottom row, Amber Cassady, 14 and Kelly Riley, 14 win the Verizon Innovative App Challenge “Best in State” middle school title. The students had to design a smartphone application concept that encompassed Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills and solved a problem within the school or community.

Colonel Smith Middle School put its Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM curriculum to the test to enter Verizon’s second annual Innovative App Challenge.

While 14 eighth graders from the school participated in the competition, a team of five students from Suzanne Jennings’ Technical Foundations course earned the “Best in State” middle school title for their entry.

Verizon’s contest objective had competitors come up with an original smartphone application, or app concept, that incorporated STEM and addressed a need or problem in their school or community. High school and middle school students were required to work in teams of five to create one app, and receive support from a faculty advisor.

The middle school’s winning app, “Grade Alert,” introduced the concept of students checking grades and assignments with ease.

“It generates a notification when a student’s grade drops below a desired preference,” Jennings explained, adding that students can set their own grade preference.

Not only does the app work as a notification system, it informs students of missing assignments and what the grade will be once the assignments are completed. The team also created Grade Alert to assist absent students with a list of work they missed while gone.

Participants had a small window of time to complete their app concepts — two weeks. Eager to step up to the challenge, the teams worked on app ideas during lunch and after school until their final entry was completed.

“The students were excited about the prospect of entering the contest and gave up free time to work on their submissions,” according to Phyllis Gerben, eighth grade language arts teacher.

While each team completed the project, the school decided to send only three to the Verizon Innovative App Challenge.

“From the initial submission of app ideas, the core teachers selected the three ideas we felt had the best chance of winning, based on idea and level of detail of the initial submission,” Gerben continued.

Aside from providing an opportunity for learning and teamwork, Jennings expressed the challenge provided an extra benefit to the winning students — a boost of confidence.

The “Best in State” team consisted of: Thomas Hakes, 13; Joshua Merrick, 13; Joel Pagan, 14; Amber Cassady, 14; and Kelly Riley, 14.

“I didn’t think we had it in us [to win], but I guess we did,” said Cassady.

Although news of the honor was received with a reaction of shock and surprise by the students, Jennings admitted the team already had winning potential.

“They’re kids I have known all along that could do something like this, but they didn’t know they had it in them. For them to accomplish this, they finally got to see what I’ve seen in them,” Jennings stated.

Each Best in State team winner will be awarded: “Best in State” certificates; access to a self-guided app development course, an invitation to participate in a virtual Verizon Foundation STEM event, and links on the Verizon Foundation websites: verizonfoundation.org and/or Thinkfinity.org. Each Best in State team’s school shall receive a “Best in State” plaque.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Gabrielle Kuholski

Post children attend Vacation Bible School week

Gabrielle Kuholski Pictured with the microphone, Colleen Sherod, 20, Vacation Bible School volunteer, emcees a review of the week’s religious lessons as VBS students hold up posters of their “Bible buddies.” The activity ...
 
 
Maranda Flynn

Seifert School-Age Center offers fun for kids, piece-of-mind for parents

Maranda Flynn Selene Ferro, 9, Jaliah Eldridge, 7, and Malachi Bergstrom, 7, build a puzzle train city in the creative play area of the first through third grade room at the Seifert School-Age Center. Creative play allows child...
 
 
AAFES-Dog-Contest-7_2014.7

Main Gate Express hosts dog dress up contest

Monica Card, Fort Huachuca Main Gate Express store manager, awards Gunner, first place in the Main Gate Express’ “Most Patriotic Dog” contest. The event took place outside the store Saturday.   Pet owners and their f...
 

 
Photos by Maranda Flynn

Back to school at Fort Huachuca

Carissa Incorvaia receives information from Dennis Houston about Club Beyond, a youth ministry geared towards military teens. Club Beyond, which is located at the Main Chapel on Fort Huachuca, was one of the organizations prese...
 
 
Filing

Recent Fort Huachuca Soldier finds immediate employment through ACAP, now known as SFLTAP

Arvie Ramos files paperwork July 23 at his new job with the Bureau of Land Management in Sacramento, California. With assistance from the Fort Huachuca Army Career and Alumni Program, Ramos was hired as a human resource special...
 
 
Principals-3_2014.7

Fort Huachuca School District welcomes two new principals

Pictured in the foreground, from left, Keeley Huffman, 11, meets Valerie Quarto, her new school principal of General Myer Elementary at the Back to School Fair held in the school’s gym July 17. Also pictured in the background...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin