AppJam+ Student Alumni: Jimmy Dang
October 12, 2018
AppJam+ Fall 2018 PYLUSD Showcase Finale Recap & Results
December 12, 2018

AppJam+ Fall 2018 Showcase Finale Recap & Results

The 2018 Fall AppJam+ Program hosted the first of two showcases on Wednesday, December 5th, with students from 6 middle schools from across Orange County participating. This Showcase finale event was held at UC Irvine and featured app presentations from 23 middle school teams.

With nearly 110 middle school students, judges had an incredibly tough task of selecting 3 winners. The event also included a student selected award for Best Poster, as well as an award for best On-Stage Presentation. In addition to the STEM-themed apps showcased, 8 of the 23 teams presented financial literacy-related apps as a part of Dreams for Schools' partnership with Wells Fargo.

View videos from each school here!

1st Place Winners of Google Chrome Books – Footchair Studios of Harbor Day School
App Name: The Adventures of Ronin
Mentor: David T.
Team Members: Carter K., Christopher O., Jack C.
App Description: The player starts as a young boy/girl in third grade and works their way up to twelfth grade by going to class and answering science questions. To move to the next grade, the player must answer a certain amount of questions correctly within one game day. If they fail to do so, they flunk and repeat the same grade, receiving the same questions again. If they're able to move on to the next grade, the questions get increasingly harder. This game is a representation of real life, so the player starts at home and walks to school.
Technical Components Used: Image, clocks, databases, audio, buttons, labels, canvas, image sprites, text box, horizontal arrangements, notifiers

2nd Place Winners of Raspberry Pi Kits – Laser Chickens of Mariners Christian School
App Name: Adrenaline Rush!
Mentor: Sandy P.
Team Members: Zachary C., Hagen E., Emily H., Grace K., Carlie S.
App Description: The player controls a cop car and is chasing down a robber. Correctly answer the arithmetic questions within the time limit to catch the robber!
Technical Components Used: Audio player, canvas, image sprites

3rd Place Winners of Amazon Fire Tablets – Civil Coders of Los Alisos Intermediate
App Name: Block Party
Mentor: Nancy N.
Team Members: Jasmine S., Liberty H., Damian A., Leo P.
App Description: Block Party was designed to make math and geometry fun for kids. There are different levels of puzzles where the user can drag and drop the pieces into the big picture. However, before they can unlock that level, they must answer a math question, and it will be multiplication and division. Between each level, my team thought it was important to add inspiring quotes and remind users that they are doing a great job. After the game is over, a "You Win" screen appears to congratulate the user for playing the game. This game is intended for an audience of children from 4th-6th grade. Hopefully, this will encourage kids to love math and are motivated to learn.
Technical Components Used: Audio, Images

Best Poster Winners of Snap Circuit Kits – Erbs of Harbor Day School
App Name: Save the World
Mentor: Yvonne C.
Team Members: Ry O., Sonali T., Braden K.
App Description: "Save the World" is based on the classic arcade shooting game, Space Invaders, with some unique twists. The objective of the app is to defeat the aliens, and "save the world" by shooting only the alien with the correct answer to a series of astronomy trivia questions. Saving the world is serious business! Therefore, the game is time-sensitive, and each question must be answered correctly to win.
Technical Components Used: Custom audio

Best Stage Presentation Winners of Dirty Cookie Gift Boxes – The Pugtatoes of St. Margaret's Episcopal School
App Name: The Great Chip War
Mentor: Darlene V.
Team Members: Celine W., Robert H., Audrey K.
App Description: As a Pugtato, you are tasked with defended your planet from the Evil Mr. Frito and his minions. To do so, you must answer 10 math equations, choosing the right answer from the corresponding Dorito chip. After collecting 10 chips, you will be able to face Mr. Evil Frito by using your mathematical prowess.
Technical Components Used: Audio, layouts, custom images, up/down movement controls

This year Dreams for Schools also had the privilege of working with Wells Fargo to bring a fun twist to the AppJam+ program to two schools in Orange County. Students from McGarvin Intermediate (in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Garden Grove) and Spurgeon Intermediate worked alongside both college mentors as well as mentors from Wells Fargo to learn about financial literacy, get smart about credit, and develop themed apps. Judges from Wells Fargo awarded the top two teams out of the eight teams who showed off their finance apps at this UCI showcase.

Wells Fargo 1st Place Winners of BB-8 Spheros – You Name It of McGarvin Intermediate, Boys & Girls Club of Garden Grove
App Name: Skrrt Skrrt
Mentor: Alvin N.
Team Members: Kareem W., Alex T., Joan C., Tuan M.
App Description: Skrrt Skrrt is a car racing game created to cover both financial literacy topics and mathematical concepts. Players are instructed to begin the race where they try to gain as many points as possible without losing all their lives. During the game, players can gain points by answering questions correctly or lose lives by answering questions incorrectly. Winning races gives the player access to money which can be used to upgrade their vehicle and participate in races with more difficult questions.
Technical Components Used: Databases, timers, collisions, audio

Wells Fargo 2nd Place Winners of Makey Makey Kits – TJCR of McGarvin Intermediate, Boys & Girls Club of Garden Grove
App Name: AK Wars
Mentor: Claudia C.
Team Members: Reyna L., Jenny N., Thoa N., Cecillia L.
App Description: AK Wars is a question game about financial literacy. The story is about two separate teams, comprised of anime and K-pop characters, going against each other. The player is required to answer multiple choice questions about financial literacy. When the answer is correct, one member of the opposing team is defeated. It uses different visual graphics and music to captivate the player into this anime versus K-pop world.
Technical Components Used: Databases, audio, graphics, timers.

Closing Remarks

The apps these students developed and presented were truly reflective of their growth throughout the program, both technically and personally. The level of technical sophistication highlighted by each app speaks volumes to the sheer teamwork and technical savvy the students have developed over the course of only 10 weeks time. The stage presence of all participating teams is applaud-worthy, as the students boldly and brightly showed off all of their hard work to the large attending audience. The videos, presentations & posters students make in support of their app continue to improve each year, as well as the breadth of technical skills the students learn in the areas of game design, graphics editing, and sound editing!

Thank you all for your support of a program that not only helps participants gain technical skills and knowledge of possible STEM career paths but also increases each participant's belief in themselves and their aptitude for a career in STEM fields.

Thank you to our judges Jerry Granillo, Jenny Lin, Neil Sahota, Eleanor Tang, Tracy Chang, Elaine Chen, Nick Flores, Trevor Tait, Kelly Lank, Shahira Marei, Darren Denenberg, Linda Nguyen, Joanne Huynh, Rene Ventura, Dianne Mordoki, Puja Sorathia, Elizabeth Vargas, Muneeb Baig, Dylan Fairchild, and Scott On!

A special thank you to our partners: UC Irvine, CSU Fullerton, Luna Grill, Kay Family Foundation, Kingston Technology, Orange County Community Foundation, Croul Family Foundation, Wells Fargo, Cox Communications, The Dirty Cookie, and Western Digital Foundation.

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