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United States : Voting now open: Students compete for chance to turn ideas into mobile apps.

The Verizon Innovative App Challenge, now in its fourth year, is a no-coding-skills-needed app design contest that gives teens and tweens a chance to bring their problem-solving mobile app ideas to life.

Today, 92 teams were selected from more than 1,200 entries, as Best in State winners, earning free tablets for each team member and a $5,000 grant for each teams school or club.

From now until January 31, 2016, anyone can vote to help a team win the Fan Favorite award, which earns them an additional $15,000 and the chance to work with experts from MIT Media Lab to turn their concept into a real, working app. In past years, these prizes have been reserved for eight, judge selected, Best In Nation teams. New this year, the Fan Favorite award gives one special team an additional distinction and the chance to become a national winner.

As a bonus, voters can also get their own personalized, I Voted #VZAppChallenge emojis, from the EmojiFace School mobile app (available to iPhone users only, free in the App Store). Voters can share these unique, custom icons to encourage others to vote through social media and, if they share with #VZAppChallenge, will have a chance to be featured on Verizons social channels.Past winners of the App Challenge have gone on to present their apps at the White House Science Fair or even sell their inventions.

The Verizon Foundation, in partnership with the Technology Student Association, created the Verizon Innovative App Challenge to spark greater student interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and make students aware of the many exciting career opportunities that technology skills hold for their futures.

STEM professionals are currently in demand, but more than 3 million STEM jobs go unfulfilled in the United States.1 Approximately 1 million high school freshmen each year declare interest in a STEM-related field, but of these students, over 57% will lose interest in STEM by the time they graduate.

Voting for the Verizon Innovative App Challenge Fan Favorite award opens today. So cast your vote and help your favorite student team bring their problem-solving app idea to life.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Jan 13, 2016
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