Three Teams Pitch Apps in Technovation Challenge

After four months of coding and honing their presentation skills, three teams are tackling a challenge to build and present their own app in the international Technovation Challenge. The teams, SynTech, Serenity, and Thrively, are working alongside the Tang Institute and presented their ideas to the Andover community this past Wednesday.

The Technovation Challenge is a global competition for girls that asks participants to find a solution to a problem within each team’s community. This is Andover’s second year taking part in the competition.

SynTech is made up of Serena Ren ’18, Jocelyn Shen ’18, Sarah Zhao ’18, and Anjalie Kini ’19. Together, they have created a time-management app called “Sorbet.”

“ ‘Sorbet’ aims to help every member of a community live a happier, healthier, and more organized lifestyle. ‘Sorbet’ not only helps you manage your time, but also encourages taking advantage of the support that only an entire community can provide,” said Kini during the Tang Institute presentation.

The SynTech team distinguished their app from competitors’ by adding a social aspect to help manage time. Students can subscribe to channels made by their peers or teachers, giving them access to keep track of all assignments and events.

A support feature has also been integrated so students can indicate whether they are stressed and need help. Friends and classmates are appropriately notified to send the student the support needed.

Ren said, “We designed ‘Sorbet’ to promote the fun and relaxing atmosphere we think all schools should have. This is something our competitors have not included. Also, they do not have a minimized set-up time nor do they encourage students to support each other or take advantage of the power of a community that works together.”

Serenity is a team formed by Deyana Marsh ’17, Natalia Suarez ’17, and Diva Harsoor ’18. The team aims to help users reduce stress through fun activities in their app “nChill.”

“Serenity’s biggest goal is reducing stress on our campus. Our app is called ‘nChill,’ and it’s meant to [help users] release stress by providing fun activities and games that take your mind off of your problems and help you relax,” said Harsoor.

“Our app will have four main features, but when you first open the app you will see a mood indicator, which is on a zero to ten scale – zero being extremely stressed and ten being not stressed at all. After that, you go to the four activities, which are meditation, yoga, stretching, and bubble wrap,” Harsoor continued.

Thrively is a team composed of Lauren Luo ’16, Camilla Guo ’17, Lila Brady ’18, Darcy Burnham ’18, and Miriam Feldman ’18. They aim to promote wellness by setting up friendly competition between users of their app “Rumble.”

“With ‘Rumble,’ users build a team to engage in fun, short-term wellness challenges measuring average water consumed, hours slept, and steps walked daily,” said Burnham.

“Rumble” will operate in communities that have a common email domain, allowing users to form teams within dorms, classes, or departments.

“Team-based challenges and user-input incentives are the key features that distinguish ‘Rumble’ from our competitors. We are capitalizing on university and prep school students’ natural competitiveness by creating an app that users feel responsible for and that they can come back to,” said Feldman.

While Technovation is an app design and creation competition, very few of Andover’s competitors had previous experience in coding. One of Technovation’s purposes is to encourage girls to get involved with coding.

Suarez said, “You think it is a lot harder than it is. Granted, it does take a lot of time and it’s not easy, but you think of making an app and having a business plan as something an adult would do and not really as something you could be able to do in high school, but if you actually want to do it, all you really need is a business plan and an app. From there, you can conquer the world.”

In the 2015 Technovation Challenge, WoCo, one of Andover’s own teams, took second place globally and first place nationally with their app “PraisePop.” WoCo also received the inaugural U.N. Women Prize for the Top National Team.