NEW YORK, Jan. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, ninety-four teams of middle and high school students were named Best in State winners of the fifth annual Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge, a nationwide contest challenging students to design mobile app concepts aimed at improving and solving for societal issues in their schools and communities.
The Best in State winners were chosen from more than 1,800 teams from across the country who submitted concepts for review by a panel of judges assembled by the Technology Student Association (TSA). Each Best in State team will receive $5,000 from the Verizon Foundation for their school, club or organization, along with tablets for each student team member. The teams will compete to earn one of eight Best in Nation awards, selected by a panel of education and industry experts, and the Fan Favorite award, determined by public voting.
"As the job market shifts due to the rapid progression of technological advances, it's clear that we need to do more to increase student interest and proficiency in technology and give them project-based learning opportunities," said Justina Nixon-Saintil, director of education programs for the Verizon Foundation. "Part of that is preparing students to thrive in a digital economy, and the Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge encourages them to ideate solutions to real world problems through the digital lens they will be required to think through to be competitive for future careers."
Over the past four years, winners of the Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge worked with experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab to produce apps that have provided solutions, such as helping blind students navigate schools, tracking sports-related concussions and making learning easier for autistic classmates.
The eight teams named Best in Nation and the team voted as Fan Favorite will receive an additional $15,000 for their school, club or organization, the chance to build their concepts into working apps with experts from MIT and an all-expenses-paid trip to the TSA Conference in Orlando, Fla. in June 2017.
Voting for the Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge Fan Favorite award opens today and ends February 14, 2017. For the full list of teams eligible for the award, visit http://appchallenge.tsaweb.org/vote. To vote, review the student submissions, pick your favorite team and text its code to 22333. Voting is free and standard texting rates apply, according to your service plan. Best in Nation and Fan Favorite winning teams will be announced on February 15, 2017.
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 and math) and provide hands-on learning experiences.
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 Verizon Innovative Learning
Verizon Innovative Learning, the education initiative of the Verizon Foundation, brings technology and hands-on learning opportunities to middle and high school students in underserved schools and communities. We not only fund the programs, but we also create and administer them in partnership with leading nonprofits. We diligently measure the impact of our work and refine our programs to ensure we're making a difference. We've reached more than 220,000 students so far – and we're just getting started. 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).
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York City, has a diverse workforce of 162,000 and generated nearly $132 billion in 2015 revenues. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, with 113.7 million retail connections nationwide. The company also provides communications and entertainment services over mobile broadband and the nation's premier all-fiber network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers worldwide.
Verizon's Online News Center: News releases, feature stories, executive biographies and media contacts are available at Verizon's online News Center at www.verizon.com/news/. News releases are also available through an RSS feed. To subscribe, visit www.verizon.com/about/rss-feeds/.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/voting-now-open-help-students-win-15000-and-the-chance-to-bring-their-app-ideas-to-life-in-the-verizon-innovative-learning-app-challenge-300387440.html