Chamber Chat: Lenovo

Jun 10

By Meg Moss


Lenovo (the world's largest personal computer vendor by unit sales since 2013), together with the National Academy Foundation (NAF) has brought about a mobile app development curriculum and delivery program to NAF academies in the United States. NAF is a national network of education, business, and community leaders who work together to ensure high school students are college, career, and future ready.  The two organizations provide curriculum and technology to provide exposure and encourage interest among high school students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). This program, now called Lenovo Scholar Network, builds on a successful 2012 pilot where high school students from five NAF IT academies across the United States created and launched apps, some of which are now available to the public on Google Play.

The Lenovo Scholar website tells us that using the MIT App Inventor service developed by the Center for Mobile Learning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Lenovo and NAF’s mobile app development program is catered to reaching students from urban, underrepresented communities. The Lenovo Scholar Network is specially designed to enable the next generation of developers and entrepreneurs from these communities, a primary constituency group of all NAF students.

Thousands of students in the Lenovo Scholar Network academies were given Lenovo laptops, tablets or Moto phones and were tasked with designing, coding, developing, and testing a mobile app. Students from nearly 120 Lenovo Scholar Network academies across the nation were eligible to submit two entries for the competition. Six winners were chosen in 2018, and one app from Lee County High School made the top six! Lee County High School Academy of Engineering student's Brandon Ramirez, Sebastian Sandi-Siles, and Mico Edralin have been named one of the winning teams in 2018 Lenovo Scholar Network Mobile App Development Competition.

Quin Henry, Lee County High School’s Academy of Engineering Director said that the six winning teams will present their apps to audiences at NAF Next, NAF’s annual professional development conference, in Washington, DC this July. “Fan Favorite” voting is also open and allows the students’ local communities to voice their opinions on the apps and share their top pick. You can currently vote for your Fan Favorite! Google “Vote Lenovo Scholars 2018” to get to the voting site.

The top six apps chosen included one from a high school in Las Vegas called Guardian Defense. It was created to save lives by preparing users for a variety of dangerous situations and working to make the world a safer place. Another finalist was Human Nature, created in Detroit, MI, which teaches kids about their bodies and makes them feel comfortable while going through puberty. Kilinik, created at Conrad High School, provides users with a list of health, food, and educational resources close to their current location. Lace Up, out of Concord, NC, allows users to keep and track their pace throughout a run. Respirate was created in Raleigh, NC. It supplements pulmonary rehabilitation to provide a more accessible resource to those diagnosed with COPD and other respiratory diseases.

And last but certainly not least is the app developed right here at Lee County High School called Speak-EZ. It helps overcome fears and challenges that come with public speaking. The student developers indicated that the same issues arise over and over in public speaking: connotation, pace, and stage presence, and that seventy-five percent of the population suffers from fear of public speaking. Their claim is that use of their app, Speak-EZ, will eliminate that fear by addressing the three core issues of public speaking.

I wish our Lee County High School students the best of luck at July’s NAF Next conference, and encourage you to vote for your Fan Favorite!

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