Winners announce for Thirda Annual App BowlMay 1, 2017 - A team from The New School’s Parsons School of Design took home top honors at the Third Annual #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl where more than 440 students competed over three months to create mobile apps that improve the lives of the elderly.

This year’s App Bowl, the largest since its inception, attracted competitors from the New York Metropolitan area and beyond. Teams from eight high schools and colleges, including Mamaroneck High School, Blind Brook High School and Pace University, took home cash awards. Four teams from Westchester County won tours of YouTube’s studios and a visit with Google’s top engineers in New York City.

County Executive Robert P. Astorino presented the awards on Friday, April 28, at a ceremony at Pace University’s Pleasantville campus. Pace’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems is the co-sponsor of this annual competition. Mobile apps covered such areas from health and memory to finance and transportation.

“The #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl sends a strong statement to our students – as well as our communities and businesses – that Westchester is a place where smart things are happening,” Astorino said. “We’re on the cutting edge of so many industries, from healthcare to information technology to biotech and more. That is why we sponsor competitions like the Mobile App Development Bowl. We want to make sure everyone knows that Westchester is a place where your talents can be developed, showcased and rewarded.”

The winning team – KanjiStick from The New School’s Parsons School of Design in New York City – created an app that serves as a “one-stop shop” to help seniors resolve issues commonly faced when dealing with technology. The team found that the most common issues fit into three broad categories: problems with vision, problems with hearing, and problems with dexterity.

“Seniors rely on the younger generation to help them with technology,” the team said in its presentation to judges. “Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way in which seniors could use their mobile devices without consulting others?”

A team from Mamaroneck High School earned first place in the Creativity Award category, which was judged on its content, design, technological innovation and the unique nature of their underlying idea. A team from Blind Brook High School won the Usability Award by meeting the needs of the end user and providing easy navigation. A team from Mahwah High School in New Jersey won the Functionality Award for best providing and verifying app content as displayed on an actual mobile device. (A full list of winners is below).

App Bowl StudentsThe App Bowl kicked off with a pep rally at the Westchester County Center in February and was followed by a series of workshops that focused on developing the technical skills of design and coding for mobile devices. The completed apps will be available for download via the Apple Store and/or the Google Play Store.

“Once again, we are blown away by the talent of the students who participate in the Westchester Smart Mobile App Development Bowl,” said Jonathan Hill, dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace. “Their work will improve the quality of life for older citizens throughout the area, helping them do everyday tasks and manage their lives better. This event grows every year and we hope to see even more student app developers next year.”

George Oros, director of the Westchester County Office of Economic Development, added: “Westchester is the smart spot for business and innovation, and the Mobile App Bowl is an example of how we can attract and encourage some of the best and brightest students from the New York Metropolitan area. We’re gratified by the App Bowl’s continued success and congratulate all those who participated.”

2017 #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl Awards

Grand Prize: The #WestchesterSmart Award
$1,000 cash award; two smartphones
KanjiStick, The New School’s Parsons School of Design, New York City

In addition to the grand prize, cash prizes of $500, $350 and $150 were awarded in four different categories:

The Mobile App Creativity Award

The Mobile App Usability Award

The Mobile App Functionality Award

YouTube Social Challenge Winners
Winners will visit Google, meet with top engineers, and tour the YouTube Studios in New York City

High School Coach of the Year
Jigar Jadav, Mamaroneck High School, Mamaroneck

College Coach of the Year
Dr. Jean Coppola, Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems

The Mobile App Bowl was made possible by these sponsors: Acorda Therapeutics; The Bristal Assisted Living; ConEdison; Liberty Lines; NewYork-Presbyterian; Saberpoint, LLC; Sal’s Pizza; XL Catlin; Westchester County Office of Economic Development and Pace University and its alumni, including Ursuline Foley ’91, Nancy Goodman '77 and Virginia Letourneau '85.

The following schools participated in the #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl:

High Schools
Arlington High School
Blind Brook High School
Brookline High School
Fordham Preparatory School
Fox Lane High School
Harrison High School
John Jay High School
Lakeland High School
Lincoln High School
Mahwah High School
Mamaroneck High School
Ossining High School
Rye High School
Scarsdale High School
Valhalla High School
Westlake High School
White Plains High School
YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester

Colleges and Universities
Pace University
The New School’s Parsons School for Design
SUNY Westchester Community College

Top photo caption: KanjiStick from The New School’s Parsons School of Design was the Grand Prize winning team in the 2017 #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl. From left, County Executive Robert P. Astorino; Team KanjiStick; Kevin McGuire, Commissioner of Westchester County Department of Social Services and Dr. Jonathan Hill, Dean of Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. The awards ceremony was held April 28 at Pace’s Pleasantville campus.