Brashear High School students Isabel Mendoza and Kiera Robinson developed the Brashear News 4 You mobile app for the CGI I.T. Girl Challenge this June.
Brashear News 4 You is a mobile app developed to keep the students and teachers informed about what’s happening throughout the school. Unlike other ways to share information, this app incorporates social media and interactions to make it enjoyable so that people will actually use it.
The judges called the Brashear News 4 You app a “very innovative idea” with “lots of features”. Its “admirable”, “bold”, and “well done on the technical aspect”.
CBS Pittsburgh (KDKA) spotlighted the Challenge and the Team Dear Bee’s mobile app on a segment of their Tech Center program.
CGI hosted the CGI I.T. Girl Challenge – a mobile app development competition for girls from Pittsburgh Public Schools. Small teams of two to four high school juniors and seniors partnered with industry mentors to design and develop a smart-phone app. This challenge included seven weekly mentoring sessions and utilized Thunkable, a drag and drop mobile app platform, to compete in the challenge.
No development experience was required! Teams pitched their mobile app design to a panel of Pittsburgh business executives and community leaders. The team with the most innovative, applicable and creative app was awarded a one-time $20,000 college scholarship split evenly among the winning team members.
School sponsor requirements
Each team must have one school employee to serve as the team’s sponsor for on-site supervision of all students attending the weekly events, including management of any discipline.
Each team will be provided with CGI mentors to partner with on a weekly basis. Mentors will come to the school once per week, through the coordination of the assigned school contact (who must be an employee of Pittsburgh Public Schools). The role of the mentor is not to build the app for students, but rather act as a resource and guide to the students on how to approach common problems they may face when coding.
Below is an outline of the mentoring sessions (2 hours each):
The event will now take place virtually on June 19 at noon (ET). All participants will receive a Microsoft Teams link to join the virtual event.
This competition will use the mobile application development platform Thunkable exclusively. Thunkable enables anyone to build their own native mobile apps for Android and iOS using drag and drop instead of raw code.
Take a peek at some Thunkable tutorials on YouTube to learn more.
Mentors may only interact with students during the scheduled mentor sessions and Day of Challenge event, in the presence of your school sponsor. Questions that need to be answered outside these mentor sessions should be managed through the sponsor.
Each team will be given eight minutes to pitch their mobile app to the panel of judges. The pitch will be followed by up to four minutes of questions. Your team will be assigned a specific pitching time prior to the Day of Challenge.
Each team will be given a table and table cover to set up for their demo station. Here, the teams can show off their mobile app to the local community, local executives and media outlets. Students may use additional supplies, as required.
Yes. Each team may invite up to 10 family members/friends to attend at the CGI Pittsburgh office.
The panel of judges will consist of executives and community leaders across Pittsburgh to include CGI, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh Public School district and our corporate partners. Each judge will be given a judge's scorecard with the following guidelines.
Three scoring criteria exist with a score of 1 to 5 (1 being low and 5 being superior).
Concept & presentation – 35% of overall score
Technical skill – 35% of overall score
Innovation – 30% of overall score
Total points: 3-15 points per judge. There will be multiple judges from different backgrounds and disciplines.
*NOTE: In the case of a tie in total points, the team with the highest innovation points will win the scholarship funds.
We would like to thank our partners at Pittsburgh Public Schools, Carnegie Mellon University and our corporate partners for assisting us in making this program possible.