WE WON A STATE AND REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!
Best in State and Best in Region is what five of our OCA students received in the Verizon Wireless Application Challenge.
The app challenge, part of Verizon Innovative Learning, is a nationwide contest in which high school students are challenged to develop concepts for mobile apps that solve a problem in their community. It’s a unique, hands-on activity that teaches collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, and entrepreneurship, as well as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills and coding. It builds on students’ excitement about technology and aims to equip them with skills they need to succeed in the jobs of the future. The team that wins a National Championship gets the opportunity to work with MIT on developing the app.
Our students developed a concept for an app called, HandycAPP. In summary, their concept allows for a person to pull up an app on a mobile device from anywhere in the world and be able to see all of the ADA accomodations in that area. For example, if someone was in a building they could pull up the app and find ramps, elevators, restrooms, and other ADA requirements.
I am proud of our students, not because we won a championship, but because they utilized each of our 21st Century Kingdom Skills in the process. These are six-skills that OCA desires to foster in each of our students. Winning these awards are great, but as we talk about time and time again we are here for something bigger, deeper, and more fulfilling. In this instance their success was a by-product of how they utilized and mastered each of these skills.
We asked these State and Regional Champions how they saw themselves using each of these skills, and here are some of their thoughts:
Information Technology, and Media Literacy: 1 Timothy 4: 11-14“While competing in the Verizon App Challenge, it was up to all of us to find information on the things to be included in the HandycAPP, such as learning about people with physical disabilities everyday lives, how the HandycAPP would help them, the kind of technology the HandycAPP would use to achieve our goal, and so much more. After the app challenge, we have since started learning how to program using HTML, Binary, Java Script, etc. to better ourselves for next year’s competition. As a person of youth, I take the Bible verse, 1 Timothy 4: 11-14, to heart to succeed in my life whether it’s the Verizon App Challenge, sports, school, church, or work.” - Hunter
Critical Thinking & Problem Solving: Colossians 2:8
“One of the biggest problems we faced in the Verizon App Challenge was first figuring out what app we should create. After many failed ideas, and with the help of Coach Corley, we decided to create the HandycAPP to help people with disabilities. We came up with this idea because of Matthew 25:40 “ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” - Brooks
Faithfulness: Joshua 24:14
“Doing this project made us all have faith in God that he would bring us as far as we could go so we could help everyone that needed it.” - Landon
Collaboration: Ephesians 4:2
All of us had to stop, collaborate, and listen to each other’s opinions in order to effectively create useful ideas to put into the HandycAPP. - Sam
Responsibility: Galatians 6:5
“I've shown responsibility during this contest by finishing what jobs I had been assigned proficiently and on time.” - Joseph
Self Motivation: Hebrews 12:1
“During the Verizon App Challenge, we were all motivated by the lack of software for helping people with disabilities. We felt it was up to us to help these people be independent.” -Joseph
We are certainly proud of the honor our students have received on behalf of our school, and the accomplishment is certainly one that brings pride to us as educators. But it’s important that we recognize our students in a way that celebrates their character rather than just their achievement. Our students and your children may not always win the championship, but they can always honor God with their actions, and that's what ALWAYS matters.
We work hard to educate our students in every way, but nothing will take them further than a heart molded by our Heavenly Father.
Thank you Hunter Engle, Sam Nash, Landon Wilson, Brooks Reynolds, Joseph Pitzer, and Eli Patton for representing our school, your families, and our God well.