TSA is pleased to continue the partnership with the Verizon Foundation to offer the Verizon Innovative Learning App Challenge for the fifth consecutive year. The App Challenge is a competition for middle and high school students. Working with an adult sponsor, teams of five to seven students will use STEM skills, knowledge, ingenuity and creativity to develop and submit an original mobile app concept that addresses a real need or problem in their school or community. Schools do not need to be affiliated with TSA to participate. Non-profit clubs and groups are also eligible to participate
Teams submit their design concepts online through a three-minute video and an essay. "Best in State" teams will be selected and recognized. Winning teams will receive mobile devices, thousands in cash for the schools, and the opportunity to be coached by MIT Media Lab professionals to build their app and bring it to Google Play store. The winning students retain intellectual property rights to their app.
Team members their chaperones from the top eight "Best in Nation" schools will be invited to present their winning apps at the 2017 national TSA conference in Orlando, Florida in June. They will receive complimentary national TSA conference registration, travel and lodging for two nights. Verizon introduced another award in 2015, the Fan Favorite Award. One of the Best in State teams will be named the Fan Favorite through public voting. In addition to the prizes they’ve already won at the state level, the Fan Favorite team will receive the same prizes as the Best in Nation winners.
The App Challenge registration and submission period is August 1st through November 18, 2016.
Since the contest launched in 2012, almost 3,500 teams from all 50 states and the District of Columbia have submitted app concepts. The competition has engaged more than 24,000 boys and girls in urban, suburban, and rural areas, including many underserved communities. About half the winning students are female.