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Two Douglas County schools recognized in app contest

$15,000 prizes will go to winners chosen by fans, experts

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Two Douglas County schools were recognized out of more than 1,800 teams across the country as finalists in the Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge, a nationwide contest challenging students to design a mobile app concept that will improve societal issues, according to a media release from Verizon.

Cimarron Middle School in Parker and STEM School and Academy in Highlands Ranch were awarded best in state for the middle and high school categories. Teams received $5,000 from the Verizon Foundation along with tablets for each team member.

A group of seventh-grade students from Cimarron Middle School developed an app concept called “Care Packager” that allows users to ship requested items directly to a recipient. The app is directed at men and women serving in the armed forces who need items from home.

A group of seven freshmen from STEM School and Academy crafted an app concept called “We the People” following last year’s election to help citizens access unbiased news on politics.

“Time constraints for citizens is what helped us come up with the idea to create a nonpartisan app that will efficiently inform citizens of the issues/candidates on the ballot,” team member Chase Babair wrote in a news release. “When there is not an election, our app will provide unbiased news.”

The two teams are up for one of eight best in nation awards, determined by a panel of experts, and one fan favorite award, determined by public voting. The eight teams named best in nation and the one team named fan favorite will win $15,000 for their schools and the chance to build their app concept into reality alongside experts from MIT. Winners will also receive an expenses-paid trip to the Technology Student Association (TSA) Conference in Orlando, Florida this June.

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