Got A Good Idea For A Mobile App? Win $20,000 For Your School With It!

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Photo: (Verizon)

Did you ever have an awesome and innovative idea for a phone app? Now’s your time to make that idea a reality!

Verizon wants to get middle and high school students stoked on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) while helping them solve problems in their communities. Thankfully, there’s an app (challenge) for that!

For its second annual Verizon Innovative App Challenge, the Verizon Foundation is partnering with the Technology Student Association (TSA), Samsung and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab to engage students across the country to conceptualize a mobile app.

So why is Verizon so interested in students using apps? According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project’s Teens and Technology 2013 report, 1 in 4 teens are “cell-mostly” Internet users. While research shows that 1 in 3 middle school students use mobile devices to complete their homework, very few teachers are incorporating the use of mobile devices into the classroom.

To enter, students have to put together a team of five to seven students and one faculty advisor. Then the teams solve a problem in their local communities with an app idea. The winners of the challenge win a $20,000 grant for their school and each team member wins a Samsung Galaxy tablet, but here’s the really awesome part: The winning teams work with the MIT Media Lab to build the app, which will then be available for free download on the Google Play Store.

The competition also helps empower girls to break into the STEM field. More than 50% of last year’s applicants were female, and one of the winning Best in Nation teams from last year was a five-person all-girls team from a high school in Maryland. Their app helped students fight procrastination and included an interactive calendar, note-taker and flash-card generator all in one! NEED THAT NOW.

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Photo: (Verizon)

To enter the challenge, visit the challenge website. The challenge is accepting submissions through Dec. 17. You can see the full list of last year’s winners here.

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