HCC students showcase app ideas to address COVID-19
Dec 4, 2020
The challenge was clear-cut: Apply your creativity and ingenuity to showcase an app idea to address a specifically designed challenge.
The more than 50 students who participated in the daylong competition known as App-a-thon@HCC on Nov. 14 embraced the challenge, showcasing eight innovative app ideas to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event was hosted by Houston Community College in collaboration with HCC Southwest Center for Entrepreneurship, and Digital and Information Technology Center of Excellence.
“In the App-a-thon, students gain more practical learning than they would in sitting in months of lectures,” said Ravi Brahmbhatt, director of HCC Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “This practical entrepreneurial training teaches team-building as well as critical and creative thinking.”
The students worked in small teams and some individually to brainstorm, plan and prototype apps with mentoring from HCC faculty and industry professionals.
The final app proposals were presented to a panel of judges during a community showcase at the end of the competition, with three cash prizes totaling $500 awarded to the top three highest scoring projects.
The apps would address a wide range of issues related to COVID-19, from connecting anxious people to mental health professionals, to using mobile phone location services to avoid “hot” pandemic areas, to providing resources to people who are quarantined.
Organizers dedicated the event to the late Douglas E. Bump who taught math for over two decades at HCC. Bump, who died in March, created thousands of math tutorials and 35 iPad apps to help students across Texas to learn developmental math.
HCC Southwest President Madeline Burillo-Hopkins, Ed.D., emphasized the importance of using 21st century technology to address issues facing the world today.
“I’m excited to see students having an experience that will be meaningful in their careers, no matter what industry sector they are planning to pursue,” she told the participants. “This brings together design concepts and the collaborative power that exists when people of core disciplines come together to solve an issue.”