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HH Students Take-on Verizon’s App Challenge to Make School a Better Place

Several Hatboro-Horsham High School freshman students hope to soon hear, “There’s an app for that,” when it comes to getting around their school and communicating with their peers. Team members Madison Gorkes, Nicholas Gorkes, Taylor Hough, Ryan Hough and Megan Brass entered the Verizon Innovative App Challenge Dec. 17 with the concept creation of “High School Jump,” an app for every high school students’ needs.

“We were thinking of ideas for problems we had at school,” Madison Gorkes said. “We had so many good ideas that we decided to combine them into one app.”

Jump brings together both public schedules and open forums to give students all the information they need to stay connected. The app allows students to access weather, a school map, club and sport schedules and class information, while giving students discussion areas to find study buddies, class reviews, homework help, book recommendations and student chat rooms. Additionally, students can request locker exchanges by location.

“I think it’s an awesome idea,” team advisor Jacki Small said. “They really created something that would be helpful to other students in schools across the country.”

The team will find out Jan. 20 if the app has been selected as a state winner. From there it will move onto the regional competition. After regionals, the app could then move onto the national competition. If the team wins at the national level, which will be announced mid-February, the app will be created and available to download.

If the team wins the state competition each member will participate in an app-development course and receive invitations to the Verizon Foundation’s STEM event. The school will also receive a “Best in State” plaque.

“I think the app came out great,” Madison Gorkes said. “I think we have a definite chance at winning. The idea can be used universally throughout the country for any high school and it directly connects students to both the district and outside communities. There are so many possibilities for this app.”

The Verizon Innovative App Challenge is open to middle and high school students across the country. The purpose of the challenge is to bring students together to use their STEM knowledge and creativity to develop an original mobile app that addresses issues at their school. The challenge was first launched in 2012 and has over 3,000 students who participate.

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