Six students from Grady High School were reportedly selected as the 2013 Best in State winners of the Verizon Innovative App Challenge for Georgia. East Atlanta Patch reports that Students Kalid Ransome, Emma Kasper, Tre Williams, Siddhartha Hughes, Simon Puckett and Caleb Crowley, who are all in the school’s Biomedical Science and Engineering Academy, were the recipients of the award.

The Innovative App Challenge called for students to design an application for smart phones and the students stepped up to the challenge. The app they designed was called Hands On Learning and placed first in the competition.

All six will now advance to the national competition where they could win $10,000. Ms. Tonia Schofield served as the engineering advisor for the project.

According to the program’s website, the Verizon Innovative App Challenge provides the opportunity for middle school and high school students, working with a faculty advisor, to use their STEM knowledge, their ingenuity, and their creativity to come up with an original mobile app concept that incorporates STEM and addresses a need or problem in their school or community.

“The goal of the Challenge is to provide an engaging and empowering learning experience to increase student interest and knowledge in STEM and mobile technology,” said a statement on the site.

Students were otified of the compeititon beginning in October and had four months to complete their design and submit it to the company for judging. Full details of the competition, which accepted submissions from Dec. 1 – Jan. 18, were as follows:

Working with a faculty advisor in teams of 5-10, students will develop an original concept for a mobile app that incorporates STEM and addresses a real need or problem in their school or community. While designing their apps, students will consider marketplace need, usefulness, audience and viability. Teams will submit their design concepts online through a visual presentation accompanied by an essay.

One middle school and one high school team from each state will be judged “Best in State” and team members will be invited to participate in a live webinar hosted by Verizon Foundation featuring industry experts who will share how they use STEM skills in their own careers.

A distinguished panel of STEM educators and corporate innovators will then judge the top Best in State teams and provide feedback on their design concepts to each team via a live webinar. The 10 overall winning teams will then be selected and announced.

Each of the 10 winning schools (5 middle school and 5 high school teams) will receive $10,000 cash grants plus professional support and training to help them bring their designs to life by building their apps and bringing them to the marketplace. Students on each winning team will receive a Samsung Galaxy Tab and be invited to present their developed apps in person – on their new tablets – at the 2013 National Technology Student Association Conference in Orlando, Florida in June.

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