Matea Haugen and Brian Kent at Cascade Middle School are putting a modern spin on the traditional science fair by introducing the first annual App Showcase. For the event, students designed an app that would use technology to solve a problem. Examples include apps that control an aquarium environment for fish or helping visitors with disabilities navigate the school campus.
Although the students did not actually create apps that are available on the app store, what they made is equally impressive. After completing the design process for their app, they made mock-ups of each screen and action on construction paper. From there the project moved to the iPad.
Students used the iPad application Keynote to replicate every single action of their app. The toolset available in keynote allows for photos, text, and graphics to animate or complete actions that look and function similar to most any app in the app store.
Once the kids got the hang of it, their creativity got the best of them. One group shared with me that their app had over 40 actions on 20 different slides!
The App Showcase was held over 2 days in the Cascade Library. You could tell that each team was proud of their work and how their app could provide a practical solution to a problem. It was also evident that many groups were eager to share the creative ways they had hidden secret buttons and actions into their projects.
Both teachers believe the effort was a success. Like with any first try, they are excited to make some tweaks that will make their Second App Showcase even better.