RIDGELAND, Miss. (WJTV) — A team of sixth and seventh graders at Olde Towne Middle School has won Best in State for their entry in the Verizon Innovative Learning app challenge. They are hoping they can win more money for the school, but they need your help to do it.
It’s a nationwide contest challenging students to design mobile app concepts aimed at improving societal issues in their schools and communities.
With this award, the OTMS team earned $5,000 for their school’s STEM program, and each team member will receive a tablet, book bag, an app challenge t-shirt and certificate.
But the school is hoping to win more funds!
As a Best-in-State winner, the OTMS team is now eligible to enter the Fan Favorite contest, where people from across the country vote for their favorite app concept. The team with the most votes will receive an additional $15,000 for their school to help students build their app, as well as in-person app development training from MIT experts and an all-expenses-paid trip for each student to attend the Technology Student Association National Convention in Orlando, Fla., in June.
Team members Allen Richert, Xavier Pawlak, Aiden Alsworth, Sasha Lewis and Daniel Lynn wanted to come up with a way to reduce food waste in the cafeteria.
Their concept, the Lunch-o-matic, is a multi-feature app that would allow students to select their cafeteria menu choices in advance. The app would also provide nutritional information about menu items so students with special dietary needs can select accordingly.
“Our app will ensure that the cafeteria prepares enough of students’ favorite meals so they don’t run out during lunch,” said sixth-grader Aiden Alsworth. “Over 40 percent of food in the U.S. gets thrown away, and that figure keeps climbing. That’s bad for the environment and for the budget.”
With the Lunch-o-matic app, the cafeteria would receive aggregated student menu choices to serve as a guideline to determine the quantity of menu items to order and cook.
They are hoping that they can get more votes to win the $15,000 for the school.
To cast your vote for OTMS’s Lunch-o-matic App, simply text the word LUNCH to the number 22333. Only one vote per mobile phone is accepted. Voting is open now through February 14.