Team of Middle School Students Win Best in State for Verizon Innovative App Challenge

A team of seven middle school students are competing in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge and have won Best in State with their app, Iowa Trash Companion. They are now working towards their goal of becoming the App Fan Favorite- which is awarded to the team who compiles the most votes.

The voting period for the Fan Favorite award began January 16 and ends February 14.

Winning the Best in State award means that the team’s app concept was the best among all middle school or high school entries in the state.

The Iowa Trash Companion app has a main goal of helping to keep the community involved in keeping it clean, and disposing of their trash correctly. The app consists of four main features.

  1. Search Bar- Users can look up different types of recycling centers.
  2. Calendar- Informs users of trash related events going on in the community.
  3.  Special Request Form – Gives users the ability to have trash picked up that was missed.
  4. Notifications – Notifies users of their trash pickup day.

The team included seventh grade Waukee Middle School students Allison Caraway, Griffin Brock, Katie Morrison, Owen Scott, Sabarish Mogallapalli, Sean Eastman; and eighth-grade Prairieview student Shriya Magatapalli.

“I really like the team, it’s fun to hang out and work with them. I like the innovation part of creating the app and coming up with new ideas to make it better,” said Allison Caraway.

The winners of the Fan Favorite award will be presented a $15,000 prize for their STEM program, and the chance to work with engineers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop the apps and share them on the open marketplace.

The competition first launched in 2012, and so far it has captivated over 24,000 boys and girls from across the country.

According to the Verizon App Challenge website, the competition allows students to develop concepts, learn teamwork, creative problem solve and gain entrepreneurship skills.

To vote for the Iowa Trash Companion App text ITC to 22333 by Feb.14.