Youth Mobile App Challenge Announcement

Put on Your Inventing Caps

MIT App Inventor invites you to enter our first MIT App Inventor Youth Mobile Power App Challenge, with YR Media. This contest is open to individuals or teams of up to three middle or high school students who reside in the US.

For the last several years, the MIT App Inventor team has been working with our good friends from YR Media (formerly Youth Radio) to create a series of apps and app building guides related to news stories about youth issues reported by youth working at YR Media.

Now it’s your turn.

The MIT App Inventor Youth Mobile Power App Challenge, with YR Media asks you (and your teammates) to invent an app, using MIT App Inventor, that relates to one of a curated set of YR Media stories. Apps will be judged in two divisions, Middle School (gr. 5-8) and High School (gr. 9-12).

The Inventors of the top app in each division will be invited to present their apps at the MIT App Inventor 10th Anniversary Summit, Aug 1-3, 2019. They will meet members of the MIT App Inventor team and representatives from YR Media.

These winners will receive complimentary tickets to the Summit and related events, as well as limited financial aid to offset travel costs. All participants will receive a digital certificate of participation, and the apps and stories of each finalist team will be featured on the MIT App Inventor website.

Register HERE

Key Dates:

  • Registration Closes - March 22, 2019
  • Submission Due - April 29, 2019
  • Winners Announced - early June, 2019
  • Winning Apps presented at MIT App Inventor Summit - Aug 1-3, 2019



Applicants MUST:

  • Submit original apps that relate to one of the curated YR Media stories listed.
  • Be age 18 and under.
  • Reside in the U.S.

In addition:

  • Students may submit projects either individually or with one partner or two partners. Each team member must register for the contest.
  • The submission must reflect the student’s or students’ own work.
  • No student may submit more than one project.
  • Late submissions, incomplete submissions, submissions involving plagiarism, submissions that do not reflect the student’s or students’ own work or submissions that violate any federal or state laws will not be accepted.
  • To compete for prizes, Finalists must submit additional forms.
  • Winners will be asked to create a short video about their app for presentation at the MIT App Inventor Summit in August, 2019.
  • All decisions by MIT App Inventor Youth Mobile Power judges are final.
  • The MIT App Inventor Youth Mobile Power competition does not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, and/or disability.

Teachers: Click here for a downloadable poster for your classroom.




YR Media Curated Stories

Use these stories from our friends at YR Media as inspiration for your app inventions! Part of your submission to the MIT App Inventor Youth Mobile Power App Contest will be an essay describing how your app relates to one or more of these stories.

Sounds and Places: In this video, two YR producers collect audio from a spot in downtown Oakland and turn that local soundscape into a beat. (Ideas: Can you map sound to a sense of place? Can you make a quiz where people identify neighborhoods in your area by sounds alone?)

Love Letters: This poet starts with the line, "Honey I'm home," and shares a love letter to her city. (Ideas: Can you make a poetry app? What other ways could an app show someone's love for their home--or how that home is changing?)

Dance, Little Robot: It's no surprise that Artificial Intelligence might fall short when it comes to scoring music for something as subjective as “danceability” - but how well can AI even recognize everyday objects? (Ideas: Use IoT to make performance art! Can you cause several objects or devices to "dance" or "sing" together?)

Life on File: When one YR producer who grew up in foster care got a hold of his court records, he was stunned by how much of his everyday life was documented by the state--and wrote about it here. (Ideas: Make an app that helps users track important life records. How else can technology help young people get support they need?)

On the Move: This story (a collaboration between YR and Wyoming Public Media) shares what it’s like for young people whose families move with the seasons to follow the harvest. (Ideas: Make an app that helps students who relocate mid-year. Can you help with transitions, which are both practical and emotional?)

Quiz for Good: In the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections, YR created a quiz to help first-time voters prepare to hit the polls. (Ideas: Other ways to re-invent the all-popular quiz experience? Or make an app that builds youth civic engagement--not just at election time?)

Calling All Entrepreneurs: In this profile, we meet a 14-year-old who creates press-on nails for contestants on the wildly popular show, “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” (Ideas: Make an app that helps young entrepreneurs reach their goals. Or maybe your app will take creative expression and style to a whole new level!)

Pop Culture Remix: Tired of not seeing yourself, or the stories you want, on the screen? In this interactive piece, YR remixed the movies, and you can too. (Ideas: Can your app inspire industry change? Expose disparities in representation and other forms?)

Beyond the Bully: In this story, YR shares pointers on how to distinguish between a bot and an actual human bully online. (Ideas: Can you make an app that addresses bullying, or helps users identify and deal with bots they encounter online?)