Smithfield High School team awarded ‘Best in State’ for Verizon App challenge

Smithfield High School team awarded ‘Best in State’ for Verizon App challenge

Students in Michael Deslauriers’ App Inventor Club at Smithfield High School won “Best in State” for this year’s Verizon App challenge. Pictured, from left, are Molly Richard, Evan Fortier, Erik Brenner, Meghan Mitchell, Anthony Corticelli, and Michael Deslauriers. (Breeze photo by Melanie Thibeault)

SMITHFIELD – Five Smithfield High School students won “Best in State” this year in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge for their idea to create a mobile application that would keep track of local stories and legends on a town-by-town basis.

A vote for their idea can help the team win a new competition this year, the App Challenge Fan Favorite, which will be awarded by popular vote, according to the Verizon Foundation.

Voting ends on Sunday, Jan. 31.

Smithfield’s winning team consists of senior Erik Brenner, sophomores Molly Richard and Meghan Mitchell, and freshmen Anthony Corticelli and Evan Fortier. They are members of the school’s App Inventor Club, which is run by Michael Deslauriers, a math and computer science teacher at SHS.

On Thursday, Jan. 21, the students will receive individual tablets and a check for $5,000 as their “Best in State” prize, Deslauriers said.

Describing the idea behind “The Local App,” Deslauriers said that people could enter zip codes to discover local information about a city or town. Not census information, he said. More like folklore.

A resident, such as a town historian, would be in charge of moderating submitted content, he added.

The Verizon App challenge is a national competition open to any school. Students must design a mobile app concept that addresses a need or problem in their local community.

Last year, a team from Smithfield High won “Best in State” in the competition for “Bite Safe,” a concept for a mobile app that would provide information for people who encounter poisonous or rabid animals.

This year, more than 1,200 app concepts were submitted, according to the Verizon Foundation.

The team that wins the fan favorite category will receive a $15,000 prize, a chance to work with experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to build its concept into an app, and an all-expenses-paid trip to the TSA conference in Nashville in June 2016, according to the Verizon Foundation.

Before Jan. 31, people can watch videos and text a code to 22333 to vote for their favorite design.

Click here to view videos and voting codes.