On Wednesday, November 29, the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD) hosted the AppJam+ Showcase Finale at the Performing Arts Center. All six PYLUSD middle schools participated including Bernardo Yorba, Kraemer, Travis Ranch, Tuffree, Valadez, and Yorba Linda.
AppJam+, an initiative of Dreams for Schools, paired PYLUSD middle school students from all six schools with college mentors from Computer Science and Engineering fields in order to expose them to mobile app development and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) career pathways.
For ten weeks leading up to AppJam+ Showcase Finale, mentors from California State University, Fullerton, and University of California, Irvine, worked with PYLUSD students during two hour programming sessions twice a week. Forming teams of 4-5 students, the students utilize AppInventor to create a STEM related mobile app designated for a K-12 audience.
To kick off the night, Superintendent, Dr. Greg Plutko, skyped in to welcome the audience and further emphasize the importance of STEM-based programs such as AppJam+. Following Dr. Plutko’s words, the Executive Director of Dreams for Schools, Nithin Jilla, showed a brief introductory video and explained the layout for the evening. All 30 teams of students were then given the opportunity to present their mobile app creation on stage in front of a crowded audience and panel of contest judges.
Following the students’ presentations, audience members and judges were directed to walk to the El Dorado High School (EDHS) gymnasium where each team had a poster board and tablet available to show more in depth details about their apps.
To finish off the night, students, audience members, and judges returned to the PAC to partake in the presentation of awards. Congratulations to the following teams for their winning projects:
1st Place – RPG Crew, Yorba Linda Middle School
2nd Place – Team Mystery, Tuffree Middle School
3rd Place – Team Ninja, Tuffree Middle School
4th Place – Team Gaming Gods, Valadez Middle School Academy
Best Poster – The Survivors, Bernardo Yorba Middle School
The first place team, including their mentor, were awarded Chromebooks for their efforts in developing the top rated app.
This program and event could not be made possible without the vision of Cary Johnson, PYLUSD’s Director of K-12 Innovation and Technology, and the support of competition judges and sponsors.
To read more about the AppJam+ Showcase Finale courtesy of the Orange County Register, please follow the link below.