Voting now open: Help students win $15,000 and the chance to bring their app ideas to life in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge

92 student teams win at state level, now are eligible to win national awards

Jan 11, 2016, 13:00 ET from Verizon

NEW YORK, Jan. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today voting begins for the App Challenge Fan Favorite award in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, a nationwide app ideation contest for middle school and high school students. The Fan Favorite award is new to the four-year-old App Challenge, and allows the public to choose a national winner in addition to those chosen by the judges.

Ninety-two student teams were named Best in State winners by a panel of judges assembled by the Technology Student Association, which included educators and industry experts. Each team receives a $5,000 award from the Verizon Foundation for their school, club or organization, and tablets for each student team member. In total, Verizon is awarding $460,000 in prizes and more than 550 tablets, to Best in State winners. In addition, Best in State teams are in the running to earn one of eight Best in Nation awards plus the new App Challenge Fan Favorite award. Prizes for these national awards include an additional $15,000 for their school or club, the chance to build their concepts into working apps with MIT Media Lab experts and an all-expenses-paid trip to the TSA Conference in Nashville, Tennessee in June 2016.

The Verizon Innovative App Challenge Fan Favorite award was created to give teachers, students and the broader community an opportunity to choose a national winner and show their support for the students' innovation, passion and entrepreneurial spirit in developing app concepts that address societal issues. Voting opens today and ends January 31, 2016. For the full list of teams eligible for the App Challenge Fan Favorite award, visit http://appchallenge.tsaweb.org/vote. To vote, review the student submissions and text the code found in the entry for the team of your choice to 22333. Voting is free and standard texting rates apply, according to your service plan.

Voters will also be able to get their own personalized, "I Voted #VZAppChallenge" emojis, from the EmojiFace School mobile app (available to iPhone users only, free in the App Store). Voters can share these unique, custom icons to encourage others to vote.

Created in partnership with the Technology Student Association, and presented in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab, the Verizon Innovative App Challenge is a no-coding-skills-required national app design competition that encourages students to come up with ideas for mobile apps that could solve a problem in their schools or communities. The App Challenge offers a unique, hands-on learning experience and aims to spark greater student interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), as early as middle school.

"This competition has proven itself to be a life-changing experience for students," Justina Nixon-Saintil, director of education programs for the Verizon Foundation. "For many participants, the App Challenge has helped them discover a genuine passion for coding, entrepreneurship and the ways that they might use technology to develop ideas that could help change the world. It's a winning combination that is setting up students for success."

On February 2, the App Challenge will conclude with the announcement of eight Best in Nation teams and one Fan Favorite app concept chosen through public voting.

About the Technology Student Association (TSA) 
The Technology Student Association is a national organization devoted exclusively to the needs of students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Open to young people enrolled in or who have completed technology education courses, TSA's membership includes over 190,000 middle and high school students in 2,000 schools spanning 48 states. TSA partners with universities and other organizations to promote a variety of STEM competitions and opportunities for students and teachers. TSA is supported by educators, parents and business leaders who believe in the need or a technologically literate society. From engineers to business managers, our alumni credit TSA with a positive influence in their lives. Visit http://www.tsaweb.org for more information.

About the Verizon Foundation
The Verizon Foundation is focused on accelerating social change by using the company's innovative technology to help solve pressing problems in education, healthcare and energy management.  Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live. Verizon's employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.8 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities.  For more information about Verizon's philanthropic work, visit www.verizon.com/about/responsibility; or for regular updates, visit Facebook (www.facebook.com/verizonfoundation) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/verizongiving).

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SOURCE Verizon