2014 Verizon Innovative App Challenge Winners

In addition to receiving recognition for their accomplishment in Washington, D.C. with other winning teams at the 2014 National Technology Student Association Conference and getting spotlight attention on KOMO4 News this spring, the Bellevue Reporter reached out for an interview with a few members of the app team this summer. You can read the article here.
The team built their Hike About App with the support and guidance of their Advanced Technology teacher, Adrienne Gifford, and Yu-Chang Hsu, Ph.D., Professor of Educational Technology at Boise State University. 

After winning a nationwide challenge put on by Verizon to develop a concept for an app that could make a difference in their community, a seventh grade team had the opportunity to develop and market their app in the Google Play Store. HikeAbout is now available for download here.

Students from our 2014 Verizon Innovative App Challenge Best in Nation Team (Audrey Whitmer, Emerson Jones, and Alex Hobbs), were invited to join this year’s winning teams for a special Google Hangout with MIT’s “Bionic Man” Dr. Hugh Herr.

About Dr. Hugh Herr:
At age 17, Hugh Herr was one of the country’s best and most promising rock climbers until a climbing accident claimed both of his legs below the knee.   The accident changed the course of his life, setting him on the path to become the world’s leading designer of bionic limbs. Currently, as Director of the Biomechatronics research group at the MIT Media Lab, he is pioneering a new class of biohybrid smart prostheses and exoskeletons to improve the quality of life for thousands of people with physical challenges.
Dr. Herr shared fascinating information about how his research group is using technology to eliminate disability.  Students also had a chance to ask him questions about his work.  To find out more, you can view Dr. Herr’s amazing and deeply moving TED talk at https://www.ted.com/speakers/hugh_herr.

As part of the win, Open Window School received a check from Verizon for $20,000, which is being used to develop a makerspace in the middle school that will further encourage innovative ideas.
Open Window School provides a challenging academic curriculum blended with nurturing support from teachers that prepares students for long-term success.