A mobile app development team from Como Park was one of two high school teams to win the Minnesota Technovation Challenge at the Minneapolis Convention Center May 7. Technovation annually invites teams of girls from all over the world to learn and apply the skills needed to solve real world problems through technology.
The winning team of Aye Win, Moo Christ Paw, Umu Farah, Leilo Jama, and Naw Sei created a literacy app for new immigrants and refugees that helps young children maintain a connection to their home language and culture while they are learning English. Como teacher Liz Riggs, who mentored the girls, said one of the app’s main features is a dictionary the students made with translations in six languages.
“The girls drew from their own experiences as new immigrants and refugees to make an app that will support the next generation of English language learners,” Riggs said.
The winning team, who anointed themselves the “Spice Angels” for the competition, automatically advance to the national competition, which is evaluated virtually by a committee of judges. If their app is selected in the national round, they will present their app at the world competition held this summer in Silicon Valley, Calif.
Also representing Como at the Technovation Challenge were Nimo Mohamud and Kowsar Ahmed, who developed an app that provides wrap-around services for homeless people in their communities. Their app also received high scores and was favorably received by the judges. The girls practiced for the Technovation Challenge by presenting their apps to Kristin Meister’s Public Speaking class the week before the event, allowing them to get feedback on their delivery from other students, while developing confidence.