By Dylan Deprey
Today, losing your smart phone is almost as tragic as losing your car keys.
From tracking a diet to tracking the bus, there is literally an app for everything.
The mobile application has transformed from simple games to an industry all its own.
Twenty-five students at North Division High School have been given a shot to partake in the Lenovo Scholar Network program.
This is a nationwide competition to create the next big mobile application.
Melissa Menge, digital media teacher at North Division High School, heard about the program at the National Academy Foundation (NAF) conference in California.
She is an advocate for teaching students to be knowledgeable in up-and-coming technology.
“This is how young people communicate through smart phones and computers,” Menge said. “It will help the students be more marketable.”
The 15 two-student teams at North Division High School want to take the number one spot at this year’s competition. Last year, Washington High School of Information Technology, another Milwaukee school, took the win for their anti-bullying bowling app.
“Washington has an advantage because they’ve already done this,” Menge said.
Although this is the case, the class consensus is to beat every school competing, especially Washington.
The students have been taking surveys of their classmates and researching what they want in an app.
“It’s pretty difficult to try to make a mobile app using the technology with all of the different ideas we have,” said Malcolm Prescott, a student in the program, said.
The seniors in the class have focused their apps on helping their classmates strive for higher education.
“We want to help students get ready for the ACT,” Herman Paige said.
The app will provide students with thinking games to help them prepare for the pre-college test.
Other students are focused on helping students find the perfect college.
“We want to make an app that is a college search engine,” Makayla Randle said.
This app would allow students to pick possible careers or majors and would direct them to colleges in the specific fields.
Students are required to have 20 hours of community service to graduate. Some students are working toward creating an app to help alleviate the struggle of finding a place to complete these hours.
“We want to show places in what you are interested in and where you can do community service at,” Devontae Tharp said.
The Lenovo Scholar Network program allows students the opportunity to work with Lenovo ThinkPad laptops and Yoga tablets.
This technology along with the App Developer program created by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, the students will learn the process of making an app.
“The program is user friendly,” Menge said.
“It’s focused on the process and the way of thinking in finite details.”
The process of creating an app involves a lot of troubleshooting and teaches the students to think the way a computer thinks.
Creating an app takes a lot of practice and knowing the structure of the program is a huge part of the process.
“If the students fail, they go back and try again,” Menge said.
The program is hands-on for the students, and the rest of the world can use their apps on GooglePlay.
“The apps are out there for everybody to try,” Menge said.