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AppJam+ 2015 Showcase Finale Recap & Results!

Posted on November 19, 2015 at 10:15 PM

The brainstorming. The mentoring. The programming. The snack breaks. The 4th year of AppJam+ in 2015 concluded on the evening of November 19 with the Showcase Finale Event featuring presentations by 19 teams from 5 different program sites this year at the Delhi Center in Santa Ana. The showcase finale was the best yet with over 300+ community members, families & friends.  


AppJam+ is a program in which the concept of building software in a short period of time is used as a tool to excite and inform middle school students about STEM fields while teaching them the creative and hands on technical process of mobile application development & exposing them to careers in STEM. Middle school students receive mentorship from college undergraduates and learn to make Mobile apps which will be utilized by early learners. 


In its 4th year, AppJam+ partnered with Wells Fargo to create a special category, the Wells Fargo Financial Literacy Challenger Category. Students in teams were challenged to create an app that teaches banking and finance concepts to students in grades K-6 . Using the financial literacy curriculum available through the Wells Fargo Hands on Banking for different age groups, students were challenged to play around with the curriculum & use the existing content to develop a mobile application that teaches one or more concepts related to the online financial literacy hands on banking website.  


AppJam+ in its 4th year partnered with Wells Fargo, OC STEM Initiative, Google, Time Warner Cable & Microsoft. The University partners in 2015 included the UC Irvine Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, UC Irvine Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Saddleback Community College. The catering partner for 2015 was Chik-Fil-A on MacArthur & Bristol in Santa Ana. 


Bringing together nearly 90 middle school students from Walton Intermediate Boys & Girls Club of Garden Grove, Saint Anne School in Santa Ana, Harbor Day School in Corona del Mar, Girls Inc. in Orange County, & McGarvin Intermediate Boys & Girls Club of Graden Grove, the showcase featured 19 team presentations with the following teams coming out on top in the friendly competition & a new fan favorite award this year!


 

Wells Fargo Challenger Category Winners of $300 Gift Cards - Midnight Riders from Walton Intermediate Boys & Girls Club of Garden Grove

AppName: My Life

Mentor: Johnathan Tran, UC Irvine

Team Members: Alyssa Hackman, Amy Chavez

App Description: My Life: It's your life, so it's your choice. This application lets you choose among three mini games (jobs) to learn about finance and mathematics. It also allows you to pick between some cool characters to play as so that you can complete your jobs in style!

Technical Components Used: TinyDB, audio, speech to text, image sprite movement


1st Place Winners of Google Chrome Books - Team Ferocious Bubble Eaters from Harbor Day School

AppName: Planet Pursue

Mentors: Kelvin Phan, UC Irvine

Team Members: Max Luer, Isabel Gomez, Luke Rosing, Ayden Niknafs

App Description: Our app is a journey that takes you across the galaxy. We came up with it because everyone in this ambitious group has dreamed about going into the galaxy. By making this app, we were able to closely fulfill our dream of going to the stars. This educational game takes you to the planets where you build domes, do math problems, and even figure out the secrets to air and water molecules! By doing this, you have fun while learning!

Technical Components Used: We used orientation sensing, audio, and touch screen. We all worked extremely hard to perfect these components.


2nd Place Winners of Android Tablets - Galaxy Bosses from Walton Intermediate Boys & Girls Club of Garden Grove

AppName: Math World Cup

Mentor: Kenneth Bobiles & Jenni Sangkavichitr, UC Irvine

Team Members: Luis Huerta, Lizbeth Vargas, Suszeth Gonzales, Juan Garibay

App Description: World Math Cup is a soccer video game developed for Android. The "goaaaaaal" for the game is very similar to real life soccer, but it also incorporates math learning. A math question will be displayed on the screen and you'll have to crank up that brain of yours to solve it! To make things trickier for you, there will be four goals! Three of the four goals' sole purpose in this game is to trick you with the wrong answer, so you better be careful. You will accumulate points if you shoot the ball into the goal with the right answer. However, it won't be that simple because there is a goalie trying his very hardest to make sure you lose! He won't run out of stamina, so don't think you can wait for him to slow down! If you shoot the ball into the wrong goal or if the goalie stops you for a total of five times, then game over for you. Be proud of your score and try harder next time!

Technical Components Used: Custom audio, canvas, button, imageSprite, horizontal/vertical arrangement, label, textbox


3rd Place Winners of Makey Makey Devices: SWAG Pandas from Girls Inc. of Orange County

AppName: The Land of Sweets

Mentor: Ceci Garcia, UC Irvine (Lead Mentor)

Team Members: Sharick Ruiz, Monzerat Torres

App Description: This application is a game designed for a first and second grade audience. It incorporates math and engineering by allowing the player to choose a character and assisting it in its travels through different levels. In order to successfully complete a level, the player must solve a mathematical equation and then select the right piece to finish constructing the bridge. Upon placing the right piece, the character will cross the bridge and the move on to the next level.

Technical Components Used: Audio, Databases, Image Modification, Mathematical use of Coordinates for Sprite Movement


Fan Favorite 2015 Winners of AppInventor Coding Books: Team SWAG from Harbor Day School

AppName: Game of Drones

Mentor: Jonathan Tan, UC Irvine

Team Members: Andrew King, Ryan Krall, Ian Nguyin, Anson Chen, Jefferey Walbridge, Chris Walbridge

App Description: Control Droney the drone through different educational challenges like math, learn about atoms, and learn about the differences between good bacteria and bad bacteria! To accomplish these you must do different things like vanquish bad bacteria with antibiotics, collect screws, and collect certain atoms.

Technical Components Used: Large list of questions, and answers related to dinosaurs. Timers were utilized to flash images onto the screen.


Closing Remarks 

Each year the level of technical sophistication and depth of design that the students achieve in their apps is astounding & greater! The movies, presentations & posters students make in support of their app improve each year, as well as the breadth of technical skills the students learn in the areas of game design, graphic editing tool, and sound editing. It boggles our minds that they do all of this in the span of 8 to 10 weeks!


Thank you all for your support of a program that not only helps participants gain technical skills and knowledge of possible STEM career paths but also increases each participant's belief in themselves and their aptitude for a career in STEM fields.

 


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