Biotech Students Take Best in State in Verizon App Battle

Students competing for cash and support prizes in national contest.

Even the most seasoned hikers know that walking through nature there are always plants that you can’t identify but wish you could. Thanks to a group of students from Biotechnology High School, there could soon be an app for that.

The Freehold high school which draws in students from all over the county recently entered the Verizon Innovative App Challenge and brought home the title of “Best in State.” Their app, No Species Left Behind, was designed by students in all four grades and uses facial recognition software to analyze a picture of a plant and identify the species.

This is the second year that the communications company has held the competition and more than 1300 teams nationwide submitted their best app. Next up for the Biotech students is the Best in Region competition. The winner in that round will be named on February 4 with the school receiving a $5000 cash grant as well as training on coding and support from the MIT Media Lab app development team.

Should the local team win that as well they will be entered into the final competition which will put the top eight teams in the country in an exclusive round of development and work. The national champion is expected to be named on February 19.

The winning team gets an additional $15,000 cash grant to help launch a STEM program. Winning team members will also receive a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 courtesy of Samsung. The winning team will also get onsite and virtual training on coding and support from the MIT Media Lab’s Center for Mobile Learning and Verizon will make the app available on the Google Play Store. Best in the Nation winners will then present their apps at the 2014 Technology Student Association National Conference in Washington DC in June.


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