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There’s an app for that … and Bob Jones students wrote it

(RECORD PHOTO/JOHN ALLEN)
(RECORD PHOTO/JOHN ALLEN)

MADISON – A software app designed at Bob Jones High School may keep people from dawdling around and putting off the inevitable.

The Technology Student Association at Bob Jones earned Best in State in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. “At least 35 states participated,” sponsor and engineering teacher Jeremy Raper said. “Students took a digital calendar, Twitter and gaming “and rolled it all into one usable app.”

Their app, X-Procrats, helps to combat procrastination. “Using social networking and peer pressure, a calendar (issues) reminders and provides incentives, like points, coins and badges for completing on time or even early,” Raper said. “Your ‘friends’… can encourage you in creative ways.”

Last fall, technology groups in middle and high schools nationwide began work for the Verizon challenge. Projects were due in January. Two six-member teams at Bob Jones entered.

Team members attending the tourney were Rain Li, Joey Dickerson, Brody Silva, Siddhu Srikakolapu, Victoria Van and Paul Yi.

“The app challenge pulled from several skill sets,” Raper said. “Students had to creatively (design) an original app that people would want to use. They researched whether the app already existed and surveyed fellow students” to gage interest. A storyboard sketch defined the app’s functions and helped students to record a video using Prezi software.

Judges received all entries with the Innovation Portal (innovationportal.org) with no interaction with students. Using the site for the first time, Bob Jones students “had to clearly communicate their ideas without being present. What a challenge!” Raper said.

Any student can join the Technology Student Association, which promotes technical fields and is officially sanctioned by the Alabama State Board of Education for Career Tech Education. Competitions can involve fashion, music, building, designing and constructing.

After final evaluation, the top five high and middle school teams in the Verizon challenge will receive $10,000. Each participating student will receive a new Samsung Galaxy and a trip to the national Technology Student Association convention to present their app.

For more information, visit appchallenge.tsaweb.org.

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