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Creative thinkers.

Byline: Community High School District 128 submission

Vernon Hills High School students with an interest in innovation and problem solving participated in the school's first Innovation Fair Jan. 9 during lunch periods in the school's foyer.

The fair showcased student teams and individuals who used their innovation skills to develop a mobile application. The winning teams and individuals received $400 scholarships to put toward further development of their app concept.

The fair was organized by computer science teacher Adam Lueken and business education teacher Beth Brilowski. Student entries were judged by school and community volunteers Chaya Setty, Brian Dressler, Kate Isabelli and William Warmbold.

The winning entries were:

* Teresa Dong, Alexa Pomerantz: After-school schedule managing app.

* Eliana Schneider, Ryan Schofield, Hannah Oppenheim: "Concrete Connections," an app that helps connect charities with people in need.

* Anmol Parande: "Go Green," an app that helps people track their carbon footprint.

* Drshika Asher: An app that helps teens and college students market themselves.

* Nathan Truger, Nick Cooper, Alexander Mohedano, Andrey Shor: "H.U.L.A --Heads Up Look Around," a safety app.

This is the second time senior Anmol Parande has received attention in recent weeks for his app design. He captured first place in the 10th Congressional District's third annual Congressional App Challenge held Dec. 20 at the Vernon Area Library.

His app, "Go Green," allows users to track their carbon footprint and is currently available in the App Store.

The idea for the Innovation Fair came about when Lueken and Brilowski attended a District 128 Innovation Team meeting in October.

"We noticed in previous semesters that there is overlap between our classes," Brilowski said. "Entrepreneurship students have new business ideas, and many of them relate to building apps, while computer science students know how to build apps."

"I've always wanted to give students the opportunity to present their ideas beyond our class," Brilowski said, noting that her entrepreneurship class students are required to create a business based on a unique/innovative idea. "It's a project they work on all semester and present in the last week of class as a culminating project."

The fair was similar to "pitch nights" hosted by other area high schools. And while it was initially open only to entrepreneurship and computer science classes, last month they decided to make it open to all VHHS students. Brilowski noted that she felt the fair was a definite success.

"I think that this event was a great opportunity for students to be recognized for their inventive and innovative thinking. I feel that this thinking will give them success as they move onto college and their future careers," she said.

"These kids are problem solvers. I believe a lot of them develop their ideas either through a class or on their own time. Other students and school staff might not even know that these students have these ideas, so this event was a great opportunity for them to have the chance to share their innovative thinking."

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Title Annotation:Neighbor
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Jan 29, 2018
Words:495
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