Maryland Students invited to submit best problem solving app ideas


— Baltimore— The Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge— the no-coding-skills-needed contest that gives middle and high school students a chance to bring their problem-solving app ideas to life— is now accepting new app ideas for the 2016-2017 competition.

Winning student teams will be chosen from each state, earning a $5,000 grant for their school or organization and free tablets for each team member. Then the Best in State teams will compete for the ultimate prizes: an additional $15,000 for their respective organizations, and the chance to turn their app ideas into real, working smartphone apps that will be made available for download.

Now in its fifth year, thousands of students across the U.S. have participated in the app challenge— gathering teams, dreaming up ideas, and creating concepts for mobile apps that could solve problems in their schools and communities.

Past winners have been featured at the White House Science Fair and even gone on to sell their completed apps for cash.

Students can submit ideas until November 18, 2016, and the winners will be named in January and February 2017.

Last year’s Best in State winner from Maryland was a group of students from Montgomery County. They created the AutBuddy app, which helps children with autism manage tasks and helps their parents and teachers communicate. AutBuddy is available for free download in Google Play.

For more information about how to register for the Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge or to download the completed apps, visit Follow us on Twitter (@VerizonGiving and Facebook (

The app challenge, part of Verizon Innovative Learning, was developed to give all students, regardless of their technology experience or access to technology, a chance to make a difference, and to help spark their interest in STEM subjects and careers.

Over the past 10 years, STEM jobs have grown three times faster than other jobs. STEM jobs are expected to grow by one million by 2022 to a total of more than nine million jobs.

The app challenge provides hands-on, experiential learning that can equip students with the in-demand skills of the future and empower them to envision brighter futures for themselves as business owners, app inventors, coders, technology professionals and more.

Teams of students currently in grades 6 through 12, who are affiliated with schools and nonprofit groups or clubs can enter the contest. All teams must have a faculty advisor.