A team of three Boys & Girls Club youth had a clear mission when presented with this year’s Lenovo-sponsored App Lab Challenge: make Boys & Girls Clubs even more accessible.
Alex (15), Peyton (16) and Ta’Nyra (12) of Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida all know the power of finding a “home away from home” at the local Club. So to help young people who are new to the area find a sense of community, they built wireframes for their App Lab submission, “Find My Club.” The app includes key features like maps, contact information and program descriptions specific to a user’s location – so kids and teens can discover what Clubs and programs are in their neck of the woods.
The “Find My Club” concept earned the group first place in their age group, including a $5,000 cash prize for their Club and Lenovo Chromebooks for each winner. Through their work, the teens were inspired to participate in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) classes like engineering and digital information technology. They also learned to leverage their Club time to support their shared interest in STEM learning and careers. This team said sharing their app idea on social media was very exciting. When asked about how they felt about winning first place they said, "It’s good to know our hard work was seen and appreciated.”
The contest also secured prize money and Lenovo Chromebooks for youth in two other age groups, ages 11-13 and 8-10. In November 2021, nearly 100 kids and teens at Clubs nationwide participated in the competition, with each app judged by a Lenovo staff member.
Winners in other age groups include Joanna (8-10 age group) and Alexander (11-13 age group), both of Variety Boys & Girls Club in Los Angeles. Their respective apps addressed additional community issues, including COVID and health-related resources and local sports team access and tracking for parents.
The App Lab Challenge, an annual contest, gives young people an opportunity to solve critical community problems through creativity and introductory coding skills. For over three years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Lenovo have partnered to expand STEM programming for youth nationwide, with self-directed programming that empowers young people to learn to build simple computer applications while amplifying critical thinking and creative problem solving. Club members advance their coding skills and work on their App Lab submissions on Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s digital learning platform, MyFuture.
With help from partners like Lenovo, Boys & Girls Clubs are able to provide cutting-edge software and STEM education programs that expand horizons and ignite interests in STEM careers.
Learn more about how Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s programming helps young people build skill sets, explore new subject matter and get excited about college and career.