Verizon Innovative App Challenge Sparks Students’ Interest in STEM Education

National competition now accepting entries.

By on August 4, 2014

Now in its third year, the Verizon Innovative App Challenge is calling on middle and high school students to dream up ideas and create mobile app concepts that could solve problems in their schools and communities.

Starting today through Nov. 24, teams of five to seven students and a faculty advisor from any public, private or parochial middle and high school can enter their app concepts for a chance to be one of eight teams named Best in Nation. Best in Nation teams will receive cash grants of $20,000 each and a new Samsung tablet for each team member. Teams are judged on whether their ideas solve challenges in their communities, include STEM principles and are creative, unique and innovative – no coding experience or mobile devices are required to enter.

The Verizon Foundation created the Innovative App Challenge in partnership with the Technology Student Association to encourage students to develop an interest in science, technology, engineering and math – the so-called STEM subjects. Since the contest’s inception in 2012, nearly 2,300 student teams from across the U.S. have entered. Teams submitted more than 1,200 app concepts, and apps developed through the contest have received more than 14,000 downloads.

Maggie Bolado, a science teacher and advisor of the winning team from Resaca Middle School in Los Fresno, Texas, said: “The Verizon App Challenge shows what regular kids can do if you challenge them to problem solve and believe in them. Before entering the App Challenge, I never dreamed my students’ would develop an app that would earn such recognition – they were even invited to the White House Science Fair and demonstrated their app in person for President Obama!”

Bolado’s all-girl team developed an app called Hello Navi that was inspired by the girls’ blind classmate and assists visually impaired people in navigating inside buildings. Teams can register now and learn more about the Innovative App Challenge on the Verizon Foundation website.

Tags: mobile apps, STEM education , Verizon Innovative App Challenge, mobile apps