Written by Brinda P., 8th Grade Scholar, Class of 2016

For the past two years, our team has participated in the Verizon App Challenge, where we have to design an app concept that would benefit our community. To submit the app idea, we have to do a lot of work, all in a short period of time. There are two main parts of the submission – answering a few ‘essay’ questions about how the app helps communities, and a 3-5 minute video presentation explaining the app and how it flows. My dad first told me about this challenge when he heard about it at work. Our team won the “Best in State” in 2014 and 2015!

Our process involved many steps.

  • First, we had to brainstorm different ideas, and once we came up with an idea, we had to go over the concept in fine detail. Getting an idea is probably the most difficult part, because there are already so many other apps already out there with the same concept.
  • Next we assigned each other different parts of the app to finalize so that we could finish the app concept in time for the deadline. It was important that we had team consensus
  • For the video, we made voice recordings reading out the flow of the app and how it worked. To go along with those, we made an interactive slideshow on “powtoons” depicting what the app would look like if it was made.
  • The essay questions includes: “How does this app solve a problem in your community?” and “What mobile features does this app incorporate?”

In 2015,  our team came up with an app concept that we named Wellness Wheel. It was an app concept that would help a teen balance both their physical and emotional health. While our team did not make it to the regionals, we still have a chance to win the Fan Favorite award. To help our team, share our commercial AND text WELLNESS2 to 22333 by January 31, 2016 

In 2014,  our team created an app concept called Experisurance. The concept was an app to help global travelers find a traveler’s health insurance that best fit their needs. If a traveler had used a traveler’s health insurance and found it didn’t cover their asthma attack, for example, the person could go onto this app, share their feedback about the insurance, and then give a rating.

I think the Verizon App Challenge helps develop many good qualities. Over the past two years, I saw that it instilled leadership skills in people who took charge of the team, and helped the team as a whole to learn how to communicate better with different people. It also improved our time management and efficiency to get projects done because we managed to finish everything with high quality in 21 meetings and some out-of-school work.