Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2014 - (Page 34)

RISING TO THE T by Kira becker CHALLE CHALLENGE hE AUTUMN BREEZE ruffled my hair and I shivered, zipping up my light jacket. I scanned the school parking lot, but my mother's gray sedan was nowhere to be seen. As I dialed her number, I already knew the answer waiting on the other side. "I'm so sorry! I completely forgot today was my day to pick you kids up. I'll be there as fast as I can." Although I was only a freshman, this wasn't the first time this had happened, nor was my mother the only parent who had accidentally left our carpool waiting at school. As I waited on the curb with my two neighbors, the wheels in my head started turning. What if there were an app that would send reminders to those parents scheduled for carpool? Then kids wouldn't be left waiting outside after school. Carpools are often a hassle to set up and maintain, but what if the app could find carpools for parents, or even set up new ones? If so, more families might participate in one. sessions, and students often forget and get in trouble. We considered making an app to facilitate sign-ups, but that was too specific to our school. We also considered a hotline-type app with tips on detecting depression in others. This sounded interesting, but we weren't convinced an app was the best way to handle the issue. That's when I remembered the carpool app idea. As soon as I mentioned it, our app started coming alive. Since we attend a school with students from five different counties, carpools are essential if you're involved in any extracurricular activities. From idea to invention An App is born Several months later, I heard about Technovation through my school's college and career center. In this international app competition, teams of female students ages 10-23 develop an app to address a problem in their community. On the bus one morning, I told three of my friends about the competition, and they were enthusiastic about it. We asked one of the computer science teachers if she would be our sponsor. After getting her approval and submitting the registration form, we began brainstorming ideas. In our school, students are required to sign up for clubs, study halls, tutoring, or makeup test/quiz sessions three days a week. It can get complicated trying to remember the what, where, and when of all these Although we didn't know anything about app development, MIT App Inventor was available to contestants online, and we scheduled meetings to learn it. The lessons were self-paced, so we could complete multiple chapters in one session. Within a couple of months, we were able to use this software to create an application for Android phones. We named our prototype app NaviCar. Individuals or families could set up accounts by inputting their contact information, address, and schedule. We would solicit families through announcements at PTSA meetings and also do our own marketing through social media. Once a carpool was established, users could determine the driving schedule and the app would send 34 imagine may/Jun 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2014

Big Picture
In My Own Words
Imagine, Design, Build
A Schematic of the Possible
My Life as an Architect
Blueprint for the Future
DesertSol: A Model of Sustainability
Across Space and Time
The Art of Summer
Selected Opportunities & Resources
A Digital Canvas
Rising to the Technovation Challenge
Off the Shelf
Word Wise
Exploring Career Options
One Step Ahead
Planning Ahead for College
Students Review
Creative Minds Imagine
Mark Your Calendar
Knossos Games

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - May/June 2014