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High school teams compete in 2016 Mobile App Challenge

November 18, 2016

Eight teams from across central and southern Indiana took part in the 2016 Mobile App Challenge at the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI on Saturday, November 12. The event is a one-day competition for high school students, who are awarded prizes for designing and building a mobile app based on assigned specifications.


This year’s challenge was based on the concept “Chindogu”—the conscious effort to make something that works but has no worth. The teams spent approximately eight hours brainstorming a concept, executing the app, and uploading the app to an android phone.

Each team had two to three members with expertise in coding and design, and an adult mentor. Members demonstrated their creativity, team building, and app-development skills during the high-energy event, which was hosted by the Department of Human-Centered Computing.

Judges from area tech companies, Rocket Build and Allegion, evaluated the resulting apps for app-chall-2nd
completeness, creativity, and user experience.

Top finishers this year were MechaDuck—Jacob Lovrinic and Taylor Horne, first place—representing Center Grove High School. The Brogrammers—Vamshi Balanaga, Justin Spoon, and Elijah Peters, from Columbus North High School, took second place. Cookie Dough—Yijiang Zhao, Anay Gangal, and Adhil Akbar, also from Columbus North, took third place. All winning teams were awarded a cash prize, scholarship and summer research funds at the School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI, and software titles donated by Pearson. Center Grove High School will also receive the Mobile App Challenge perpetual trophy to display for a year, which will be engraved with the team and school names.

app-chall-3rdTravis Faas, lecturer in the Media Arts and Science program, coordinated this year’s competition, along with High School Recruiter Christopher Ha. “It’s hard to find something more human than our personal apps on our phones, making them a perfect starting point for students who are considering work in human-centered computing. This competition is just one way to expose students to the exciting possibilities inherent in the field,” said Faas.

Media Contact

Joanne Lovrinic