Resaca Middle School students accept Verizon check

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POSTED: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 6:33pm

UPDATED: Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 9:32am

Those were the reactions of several hundred Resaca Middle Schoolers who watched as six of their peers accepted a $20,000 dollar check for their school for becoming national winners in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge.

"I'm very proud that it wasn't a 30-year-old," said Resaca Middle School science teacher Maggie Bolado. "It was an 11-year-old, a 12-year-old," said 

"I think it's a complete honor," said app award recipient Cassandra Baquero. "Because it's not every day that a student...that a couple students, are the reason that a school can get that much money."

The girls worked with their science teacher Maggie Bolado to develop a concept for an app they call "Hello Navi". They say the inspiration for their app was fellow classmate Andres Salas, a visually impaired student at Resaca Middle School.

"It will tell me how to navigate through schools that they know and some places that they do not know," said Salas.

"it will take a couple of tries to walk the building, but then the app will memorize your location," said Bolado. "That way when you return that place, you can just call it in and it will call it out."

School officials say the $20,000 check will go to advancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics education at Resaca.

"We're looking at incorporating 3-D printing in our classrooms," said Bolado. "We are looking into purchasing field equipment, so that the science classes are not so much in the four walls." 

Even though the Hello Navi app is just a concept for now, innovators from MIT will come to Resaca Middle School next month to help the students develop the app.

"As soon as we use this app and it goes completely worldwide, our hope is that the more people who use this app and discover it, the more that it will be able to impact their lives," said Baquero. 

The all-female team says they hope their achievement will encourage more girls to go into the STEM field. But more than anything, they're just happy to help out a peer.

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