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Norcross Students Develop Winning Mobile Health App

December 13, 2013

Team Flabbergastics from Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, Ga., was selected as the winner of the Health IT Student Innovation Award for their ideas on how to connect Georgians to healthy lifestyles and help the state address obesity.

Team Flabbergastics with Michael Buck, Ph.D., chief academic officer, Georgia Department of Education (left), Pintu Thaker, Advisor (center), and DPH Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D.

This year’s Health IT Student Innovation Award contest challenged high school students to develop a healthy lifestyle mobile application that connects Georgians with opportunities, information and resources to prevent childhood obesity. The contest gave students the opportunity to develop the official mobile applications for Georgia SHAPE, Gov. Nathan Deal’s statewide comprehensive childhood fitness and nutrition program.

Team Flabbergastics – Avneet Sethi, Biridiana Macias, Plabani Sharif and Brenda Gutierrez – accepted the award at the Health IT Leadership Summit on Nov. 12 at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.

Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. said the contest provided a novel solution to Georgia’s childhood obesity problem.

“Georgia ranks 17th in the nation for childhood obesity, but the key to turning this number around is right here,” Fitzgerald said at the summit. “You will help us to connect with Georgia’s young people in an environment they’re very familiar with – a digital environment. Your work has the potential to help Georgia reverse its course and reduce the awful burden of childhood obesity.”

The team was one of four high school teams named as finalists in the contest, which was sponsored by DPH, the Technology Association of Georgia Education Collaborative, Inc. (TAG-Ed), the Georgia Department of Education (DOE) and the Verizon Foundation. The high school students are members of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and/or Health Occupations Students of America – Future Health Professionals (HOSA).  

The contest offered a second category for middle school students, asking them to create a mobile-optimized website. Three middle school teams were finalists, and the winner was Needwood Middle School in Brunswick, Ga.

All finalists were invited to market their applications to health care and industry representatives attending the summit, who selected the team with the most compelling solution through a text voting system.

This year, 30 teams from around the state submitted entries that were judged by 75 business, technology, health care and education professionals. The four high school teams selected as finalists received $1,000 for their school. The winner, Meadowcreek High School, received an additional cash prize. The apps were judged on seven criteria: ease of use/design, promotion of ongoing user engagement, relevance of content, creativity, application of technology, integration of technology and proper submission of project.

The four high school finalists were:

  • Harris County High School in Hamilton, Ga. (Cheryl Batts, Advisor) – The school won the contest in 2012 and has been a finalist for all three years of the awards.
  • Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, Ga. (Pintu Thaker, Advisor) –Meadowcreek won this year and also was a finalist last year.
  • Coffee High School in Douglas, Ga. (Deborah Patton, Advisor) – This was the school’s second time as a finalist.
  • Worth County High School in Sylvester, Ga. (Missy Culpepper, Advisor) – This was the school’s first time as a finalist.

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