Edgewood Campus School’s EdgeTech team enters Technovation Challenge Print
Thursday, May. 15, 2014 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- A team of five eighth grade girls from Edgewood Campus School (ECS) participated in the 2014 Technovation Challenge. Technovation is the world's largest and longest-running tech competition for girls. There were 842 teams worldwide entered in the 2014 challenge.

In Technovation, teams of young women identify a problem, create an app to solve it, code the app, build a company to launch the app in the market, and pitch their plan to experts -- all in 12 weeks. The 2014 challenge required teams to develop an app that solves a problem in their local community.

Edgewood team's app

The ECS team, called "EdgeTech," designed an app called "Let Me Out." With this app, parents use their smartphones, and from the comfort of their cars, sign students out of the after-school program. One reviewer responded, "As a parent whose children were involved with the YMCA after-school program, I definitely would have appreciated this app!"

After 12 weeks of lessons, meetings, and problem solving, the project culminated with a presentation of the "Let Me Out" app for their mentor's administrative team and co-workers at Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS).

Participants are grateful to the parents, teachers, and community members who have encouraged them throughout this project. EdgeTech team members are anxiously awaiting the judges’ decision that will determine if their project will qualify for World Pitch Night. Winning teams will be announced on June 1, 2014.

First team from Wisconsin

Mentor Karen Rahmeier formed the EdgeTech team to help young girls learn about and become interested in careers in computer programming.

The ECS EdgeTech team is the first team from Wisconsin to submit a project to the Technovation Challenge. The team consists of five eighth grade students: Elizabeth Faye, Jamila Hamdan, Barbara Hanna, Hanna Noyce, and Abby Peterson as well as mentor Karen Rahmeier and ECS technology coordinator Lynn Koresh.

Technovation's applied, project-based computer science and entrepreneurship curriculum reinforces digital representation of information, algorithmic thinking and programming, and the societal impact of information and information technology.

It also teaches girls life skills such as how to identify a problem, design and test a solution, collaborate with a team, and communicate to different audiences.

Win/win program

This is a win/win program. Regardless of project funding, the eighth grade girls have gained skills that will benefit their future education and careers. As one parent stated, "This project has helped my daughter to learn an incredible amount about careers that she did not even know existed."

Teams pitch and submit their ideas (through video) and participate in regional competitions (varies by location). The top middle school team, top eight high school teams, and top university team will travel to San Francisco and compete at the Technovation World Pitch event in June 2014.

EdgeTech's pitch video can be seen on YouTube at youtu.be/67IY9CnKfTs EdgeTech’s demo video can be seen on YouTube at youtu.be/DOKEGPvDQZE

The winning high school team at Technovation World Pitch will receive $10,000 in seed funding to develop and release their app on the market. The winning middle school and university teams will attend World Pitch to showcase their app and will receive a $5,000 prize.

Information/technology education

ECS has a strong commitment to information/technology education. The philosophy is that technology is a tool for learning, not an end in itself.

Students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade are part of the 1:1 iPad initiative implemented in the campus school this school year. Each student has a school-owned iPad for use 24/7 throughout the school year.

Technology teachers use Web 2.0 tools to create rich, collaborative lessons. Wireless Internet access is available in all ECS facilities.

For more information about the school, visit edgewoodcampus.org or contact Sally Drea, admissions director, 608-663-4126.


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