On Thursday, June 7, the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD) hosted the AppJam+ Spring 2018 Showcase Finale at the Performing Arts Center (PAC). All six PYLUSD middle schools participated including Bernardo Yorba, Kraemer, Travis Ranch, Tuffree, Valadez, and Yorba Linda, as well as Valencia High School (VHS).
AppJam+, an initiative of Dreams for Schools, paired PYLUSD students from all seven 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, these college 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 3-5 students, the students utilized AppInventor to create a STEM related mobile app designated for a K-12 audience.
To begin the showcase finale, attendees gathered in the El Dorado High School (EDHS) gymnasium to browse students’ poster boards and test out their mobile apps on tablets. The teams had the opportunity to show more in depth details about their apps to contest judges, as well as those in attendance. Following the time in the gym, attendees and students were directed to the PAC in order to begin presentations.
Executive Director of Dreams for Schools, Nithin Jilla, welcomed the audience and provided a brief overview of AppJam+. He then introduced PYLUSD Superintendent, Dr. Greg Plutko, who welcomed the audience and further emphasized the importance of STEM-based programs such as AppJam+.
Following a brief introductory video, the middle and high school teams of students were given the opportunity to present their mobile app creations on stage in front of a crowded audience and panel of contest judges. All of the middle school teams contested against one another, while Valencia’s teams competed in their own separate category.
Following an impressive evening of STEM-based mobile app presentations, the following teams won top accolades:
Valencia High School
1st Place – Team Error 404
1st Place – Team Snacker Hackers, Kraemer Middle School
2nd Place – Jamming Robot Unicorns, Tuffree Middle School
3rd Place – The Ping Pongs, Bernardo Yorba Middle School
4th Place – Undergrads, Kraemer Middle School
Best Poster – The Invaders, Bernardo Yorba Middle School
This program and event could not be made possible in PYLUSD without the vision of Cary Johnson, Director of K-12 Innovation and Technology, and the support of competition judges and sponsors. To learn more about AppJam+, please visit www.appjamplus.org/.