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North Pole Middle students win Best in Nation in Verizon Innovative Learning App Challenge

In a first for Alaska, a team of North Pole Middle School students were named Best in Nation winner of the fifth annual Verizon Innovative Learning app challengeNorth Pole Middle Student Award Winners


The eight teams named Best in Nation will receive $20,000 for their school ($5,000 for best in state and another $15,000 for best in nation), the chance to build their concepts into working apps with experts from MIT and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Technology Student Association conference in Orlando, Fla. in June 2017. 


“It is amazing what young minds guided by high quality educators and family support can produce. We are very proud of teacher Anna Creamer and her students,” said Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Superintendent Karen Gaborik. “A special thanks to Verizon Wireless for their support of our schools and students.”


The nationwide contest challenges students to design mobile app concepts aimed at improving and solving issues in their schools and communities. The student team was chosen from more than 1,800 teams from across the country. Only one of eight national winners, the six North Pole Students were told of their win this morning.


Their app concept is called In-Reach – an app that helps people with PTSD log their symptoms to better determine their triggers and provides access to forums and local PTSD specialists see video.


Verizon Innovative Learning, the education initiative of the Verizon Foundation, created the annual app challenge in partnership with the Technology Student Association, and in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab, to spark greater student interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and provide hands-on learning experiences.North Pole Middle School Award Announcement


“The jobs that will define our future are in fields like science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and it is the mission of Verizon Innovative Learning to ensure that all kids have an equal chance at taking advantage of these opportunities that can lead them to better economic futures,” said Justina Nixon-Saintil, director of education programs for the Verizon Foundation. “The app challenge -- a hands-on learning experience that immerses students in a real world project, is one way we engage students and encourage them to think about how they can solve important problems with technology.” 

Sharice Walker