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Camptonville students take top prize in app competition
Four Camptonville Academy middle school boys, against fierce competition in the state, were victorious in a technology competition for the design of an attendance-tracking computer application.
Connor Hamp, 13, Daniel Apsley, 12, Caleb Hamp, 12, and Ethyn Fox, 13, won Best in State in the Verizon Innovation App Challenge for coming up with an original mobile app concept that addresses a need in their school.
"I'm quite ecstatic," said Connor, a Yuba City resident. "I really didn't expect to win because California has a high amount of entries."
At least 1,032 California middle school youth participated in the event for the chance to make a run at nationals this year. However, it was the four Yuba-Sutter boys —with some help from a faculty adviser — who were declared the winners.
Alessandra Apsley, Camptonville Academy teacher and faculty adviser to the project, said winning was like a David and Goliath story because California is the mecca of computer science.
State winners were announced on Feb. 26, and national winners will be announced March 18.
The boys' app would work like a guestbook, so school visitors can sign in and out on a computer or tablet in the office, Apsley said. The program would be crucial in keeping track of attendance, which the state uses to fund the school.
Although only a concept, the app will be coded with the help of a Verizon engineer if it wins at the national level, Apsley said. Additionally, Camptonville will win a $10,000 grant if the program is chosen. The boys would win Samsung Galaxy Tabs.
In all, about 80 hours were put into the project, Apsley said. The group worked on the design through Christmas break, and had to go through several key steps in the development process.
Market analysis, financial analysis, storyboards, an essay and a marketing video were all created to show a strong need for the app.
To be a success, each of the team members had to play important parts in the process, Apsley said. Caleb brought the boys together, Connor took on a leadership role, Ethyn did most of the video editing and Daniel did the bulk of the writing.
Daniel, of Yuba City, said his favorite part was making the marketing video, which used a green screen to help him explain the app.
With the announcement of the national winners only a few days away, the aspiring astrophysicist thinks the group has a pretty good shot at winning, he said.
Apsley agrees with her son, but said the project has always been more about learning than winning.
"It's just so great to see kids learn and just go for it," she said.
CONTACT Griffin Rogers at email@example.com or 749-4783. Find him on Facebook at /ADgriffinrogers or on Twitter at @ADgriffinrogers.