Students: Bill Nye, the Science Guy, wants you to create the next world-changing app idea in the fourth Verizon Innovative App Challenge

The Verizon Innovative App Challenge is back, and Bill Nye, the Science Guy, is helping Verizon to encourage students nationwide to organize their teams and submit their cool app ideas now. Absolutely no coding or technology skills are necessary to win.

In its fourth year, the App Challenge calls students to gather teams, dream up ideas and create concepts for mobile apps that could solve problems in their schools and communities. Created by Verizon Foundation in partnership with the Technology Student Association, the App Challenge uses hands-on, experiential learning to ultimately help students envision brighter futures for themselves that they may never have imagined, as business owners, app inventors and professional coders. Focusing on team work, critical thinking and entrepreneurship skills, the App Challenge aims to create a new generation of technology innovators.

For the first time this year, the App Challenge will be open to teams representing non-profit organizations in addition to schools, and even more students will earn free tablets and cash awards for the groups they represent.

Best in Nation App Challenge winners will receive a total of $20,000 for their school or organization and the chance to turn their app idea into a real working app available for download. Best in State winners will earn $5,000 grants for their school, club or group, as well as tablets for each winning team member.

The deadline for submission is Nov. 24, and the winners will be named in January 2016.

“I love the annual Verizon Innovative App Challenge because students as young as middle school are dreaming up solutions that many adults haven’t yet conquered,” said Rose Stuckey Kirk, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer for Verizon. “This contest does more than put amazing apps into the market, it also turns shy students into leaders and it helps all students, especially girls, fall in love with technology.”

The all-girls team of 6th graders from Resaca Middle School in Los Fresnos, Texas, never imagined their app idea to help the blind navigate, inspired by their visually impaired classmate,  would generate so much attention across the nation. They won the App Challenge in 2014 and their Hello Navi App earned them a visit to the White House Science Fair where they met President Obama and Bill Nye, the Science Guy. Now 8th graders, the girls recently sold their app to Visus Technology and they are working to expand Hello Navi for use on college campuses nationwide.

Janessa Leija, 13, of the Hello Navi App team, said, “Sometimes amazing ideas are trapped in the heads of people of who may never put them out there. And they need to, because those ideas could change someone’s life.”


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