Butler Tech IT Instructor Tom O’Neill said the students’ app, which includes features that help users locate the nearest food pantry, improve food collection procedures and allows pantries to better monitor for fraud by users, said the national challenge provides a real-life learning opportunity for his students.
“The Congressional App Challenge provides my students with an opportunity to develop solutions to real-world problems. This app helps people locate food pantries and is designed to increase efficiency at food pantries and food banks,” said O’Neill.
The students are continuing to add features to the app and are working on turning it into a commercial product, said O’Neill, who in recent years helped numerous Ross High School teens win national honors for their computer-science-based inventions.
Inderhees, a senior, said “we have multiple versions of the app planned out and the idea is to eventually sell to food banks and food pantries. It’s a been a complete learning curve for all three of us and we have learned a lot.”
Brian Martin, principal of Ross High School, said it’s “extremely exciting” to watch students excel on the state, national and international stages.
The superintendent of Ross Schools described the invention as reflecting O’Neill’s class — and others at the highly rated district – as focused on solving problems beyond the classroom.
“The staff and students in the Ross school district continue to amaze me with their future-thinking and innovation,” said Superintendent Scott Gates. “Our students are not only thinking about careers, they are thinking about problems and issues they want to change, solve or improve. The app that was created is very unique and will make serving a population in need more efficient.”
The three inventors will be invited in the spring to a Congressional App Challenge hosted by Congress in the nation’s capital.
Winners will each also receive $250 in credits for Amazon’s Educate program.