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Eastern WA Apps_Winning Team
The “My Nurse” team from Ochoa Middle School: Saida Diaz, Aaliyah Bradford and Itzel Pinion. Photo via Tech Alliance. 

An app to help people who need rescue. An app for keeping track of homework assignments. An app to run school elections.

These are just a few of the programs developed by more than 300 middle and high school students from across Washington, who have spent the past three months learning how to code. To celebrate their work and award winners of the inaugural Technology Alliance Youth Apps Challenge, students from Western Washington gathered on Wednesday at the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington.

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River HomeLink teacher Kent Graham with team members who developed the Checkmate Notation app (left to right): Everett Buttars, Shuey Bambilla, and Blake Hunt. Photo via Tech Alliance.

Designed to spur interest in computer science education and careers, the competition helped students learn about everything from app concept development to design and user research. The Technology Alliance received 75 app submissions from 19 schools and non-profit teams.

“The creativity and technical skill of these young competitors is beyond impressive,” Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement. “These students developed apps that solve problems, entertain and inform. They aren’t our future inventors and innovators – they’re innovating right now!”

The Technology Alliance used curriculum from an organization called Apps for Good to help educators interested in teaching their students about app development. The winners, who were judged by students from Ada Developers Academy, received tablets and a trip to a local tech company to learn more about software development.

Check out the winners from Western Washington here. Those who competed in the Eastern Washington competition were honored at an event last weekend in Richland, Wash. — check out those winners here.

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