EHMIS TSA among "Best in Nation" in Verizon Innovative App Challenge

Emory H. Markle TSA members from left, Nicia Werner, Jocelyn Peter, Daphne Weiss, Shannon Hutchinson, Sabrina Lam and Mark Weiss celebrate after their team's app design was named one five national winners on the middle school level for the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, sponsored in part by TSA.E.H. Markle TSA students finish one of five middle school teams to win in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge sponsored by TSA.  All six team members are 8th grade TSA members at EHMIS.  Their app, called “Voice Notes”, is designed to be a study tool which will record class lectures, identify the keywords and search the Internet for relevant study material.  Our greatest challenge was working in such a large group,” stated team member Jocelyn Peter”.  She continues, “Even with today’s advanced technology it is still difficult to keep everyone up to date and equally involved.”

Team members Nicia Werner, Jocelyn Peter, Daphne Weiss, Shannon Hutchinson, Sabrina Lam and Mark Weiss (pictured left to right) were interviewed by a panel including representatives from MIT, Verizon, Samsung Mobile, New York Hall of Science and National Geographic. Over 470 teams entered the contest sponsored by Verizon, Samsung and TSA.  

The winning school and each of the students on the winning team received a Samsung tablet courtesy of Samsung Mobile. In addition, EHMIS was awarded a $10,000 grant from Verizon Communications to support the team in the development of their app and for other STEM programs in the school.  Advisor Melissa Wilson said “This has been an exciting adventure for our school. I would encourage other chapters to participate in the Verizon App Challenge. It’s a great way for students to experience a real life application of what they are learning in the classroom. If you decide to participate next year be sure to create a time line and stick to it. The challenge has many parts and it’s important to stay focused in order to get them all completed.”  Melissa worked with fellow teacher Jana Bonds advising the EHMIS team.

The EHMIS team will now work with professionals from MIT Media Lab in the next two months to bring their concept to life.  If they can bring their app to market by June 7, two representatives of the team will receive complimentary conference registration, travel and two nights lodging to attend the 2013 national TSA Conference in Orlando, Florida.

For more information on the Verizon App challenge, including state by state winners, visit