Student-designed app wins best in state
HIGHLANDS RANCH – For the second year in a row, a Douglas County school is in contention for Verizon’s Innovative App Challenge. This week, Ranch View Middle School learned that it has been named the best middle school app in the state of Colorado, which means that it will continue on to the regional level of the competition.
Ranch View’s CODE Club developed an app that earned top points for its creativity, innovative design and application of STEM principles to the development process.
The app functions as a student organizer. It allows users to watch morning announcements, access the school directory, note assignments and due dates through a digitized planner, take digital notes and much more.
Ranch View’s CODE Club sponsor, Tiffiny Niederhofer Vaughn, says the competition has really put the student’s 21st Century Skills to the test.
“This challenge teaches students problem solving – they have to test it, they have to debug it,” Niederhofer Vaughn said. “These kids are going to do something amazing one day,” said Vaughn. “I don’t know what yet, but they’re amazing kids and they deserve recognition.”
The Verizon Innovative App Challenge provides the opportunity for middle and high school students, working with a faculty advisor, to apply their STEM knowledge, ingenuity, and creativity to develop an original mobile app concept that incorporates STEM and addresses a need or problem in their school or community.
Ranch View’s effort started even before the school year.
“We worked all summer at Douglas County Libraries for two nights a week, creating our video. Then once the video was finalized, at the end of August, the students wrote their essay,” Niederhofer Vaughn said.
Again, by winning Best in State, Ranch View’s CODE Club now advances to the regional level. Last year, Rock Canyon High School was one of 10 high schools that won the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, getting the chance to work with an MIT professor to bring their “Helping Hands” app to the market.