Gilbert Launches High School Mobile App Contest
In the first contest of its kind, the Town of Gilbert is hosting a mobile application competition for high school students to encourage science and technology in schools and transparency in government. In partnership with Arizona State University’s College of Innovation and Technology, the town launched the Schools Participate in App Resource and Knowledge (SPARK) App League on February 22nd.
The SPARK App League aims to inspire innovative ideas for sharing town data with the public. The competition is sponsored by Intel. Stewert Christie, an Intel employee, was on site during the launch event.
“This whole program is to try and keep students involved in engineering and math,“ said Christie, “I’m interested to see what the students will come up with because it’s not something you generally see.”
At the launch, students learned about creating mobile apps, and were given access to a wealth of public information from the town. Students can use that information to create applications for a variety of uses.
Students will divide into teams, and will have 40 days to build their mobile app. The winning application will become Gilbert’s newest app and will be available for the public to download. Students like Ben Marflitt wasted no time brainstorming.
“I’m a programmer by nature. I sit at home and program day and night,” said Marflitt. “It’s a lot of fun to be involved with something that’s actually going to go somewhere.”
Town Manager Patrick Banger says the contest is all part of an effort to increase government transparency and give citizens access to useful information.
“I think you’re going to be a part of something very special. We’re going to have a lot of fun with this,“ said Banger. “I think you’re going to be on the entry floor of transforming government and how we do things.”
A panel of judges will determine the winning application at an event on May 1st.
For more information about the SPARK App League, visit www.sparkappleague.com.