Triton students preparing for ‘Technovation’ challenge
Three teams of Triton students, two from the middle school and one from the high school, are busy building apps that will be entered in the upcoming Minnesota Technovation challenge.
Technovation is an international competition that is designed to get more girls interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), said Triton Middle School math teacher Patrick Floryance, the advisor for the students.
Since 2010 more than 23,000 girls from more than 100 countries have participated in the event. This is the third year that Triton Middle School students have participated. Minnesota students have participated for the past five years. The program moved to the high school this year as several girls who left middle school wanted to continue, he said. Technovation is open to girls beginning in fifth grade, Floryance said. There are two levels of competition, 5-8 grade and high school.
Teams of up to five members build an app to solve a problem, he said. They research the problem, build the app and pitch it to a panel of judges.
About 13 girls are participating this year, Floryance said. They meet once a week to work on their apps. In addition to Floryance, Brandan Vermilyea, who has experience in coding, also helps out.
For this year’s competition, one of the middle school teams is working on an app to help people who have lost a pet, or have found a pet, to post information and connect with others to get the pet back to its family.
A second middle school team is working on an app that will help support taking donations in cases of a natural disaster and getting those donations to the right organization.
The senior high team is developing an app that will act as the middleman in getting groceries ordered by a customer delivered to their home.
The apps are mostly being designed for android. The pet app, Floryance said, will be 100 percent usable when completed. Other apps, such as the one taking donations, would not be 100 percent usable since money is involved and that would require extra steps, he said.
The teams have been developing their apps since the beginning of the year, said Elizabeth Hukee, one of the middle school students working on the pet app.
The apps need to be completed by the time of the state competition. That event will be held in April at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
Floryance said there are two areas of the state that are “hubs” for Technovation. One hub is in the Twin Cities, he said, while the other is in southeastern Minnesota. In addition to Triton there are Technovation teams in Rochester, Kasson-Mantorville, Pine Island and Stewartville.
There are 50-plus teams statewide, he said, and about 10 percent of the Minnesota teams go on to the regional competition. The finals, which include teams from throughout the world meet for the World Competition in San Francisco.
According to the Technovation website, in 2018 the winner in the senior division was a team from India and the winner in the junior
division was a team from Nigeria.