WHITE PLAINS, NY — The 3rd Annual #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl kicked off today at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, where over 200 students from high schools and colleges across Westchester, Rockland, New York City and Massachusetts came together for a pep rally and tech workshops.
In all, more than 350 students from over 40 high schools and colleges are registered to compete in the competition. This year the contest went international, with a team competing from Scotland.
“The #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl is an exciting way to foster the talents of our students and push the boundaries of their potential,” said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “This is what makes Westchester Smart – our talented young people, eager and able to do innovative new things. And in the case of the App Bowl, they’re putting technology to work for the generation that has come before us.”
The competition is a joint initiative of Astorino’s Office of Economic Development and Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. The contest challenges students to develop mobile applications that improve an aspect of daily life for people ages 65 and older. Cash prizes, paid internships and tech gear are all up for grabs.
Interested participants can register by visiting bit.ly/appbowl2017 or emailing MobileAppContest@pace.edu. All entrants must be current high school or college students.
“We’re proud to again co-sponsor and host the annual #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl,” said Dr. Jonathan Hill, Dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University. “This contest helps motivate students to develop an interest in STEM and provides the tri-state area’s most ambitious high school and college students an opportunity to learn how Pace University can help shape them into the next generation of coders, innovators, and technology leaders.”
In April, contestants will present their final apps to a collection of judges from various industries at Pace University in Pleasantville. In the meantime, students will be working to develop their apps along with their team coaches. A second tech workshop will take place on March 3 at Pace.
Peter Solimine is a senior at Mamaroneck High School competing for his second year. He said the competition has shown him the importance of collaboration across different disciplines, in this case coding, design, marking and communications. “Tech crosses over into all walks of life,” he said. “Even if you’re not in a tech job, all jobs are going to involve tech.”
“All jobs already involve tech,” added his teacher, Jigar Jadav, whose team won the Grand Prize at last year’s Mobile App Development Bowl.
“For me as a teacher, one of the best things I can do is incorporate a classroom lesson into the real world,” said Jadav. “Having a competition where they can push themselves and compete gives them an opportunity to apply their skills. And they push themselves even further. They even set up Skype sessions on the weekends, entirely on their own, to talk about their apps.”