Appapalooza 2022: Back Together Again

Well…that’s a wrap folks!  The 2022 Technovation[MN] season has come to an end.  The excitement started brewing at 9 am as 28 teams from 44 schools and 104 girls ranging in age from 8-18 from across Minnesota pitched their app designs to attentive, seasoned judges in our virtual pitch rooms.  

There were apps about career guidance, apps about climate change, and apps about mental health. If you need a dog walker, there is an app for that, too.  It was truly an Appapalooza! The range of app designs was remarkable!  

This year’s theme: One Planet One Chance

We held a community contest for this year’s event logo and had some great submissions. But after a short deliberation and voting from our committee, the winner was decidedly clear. 

Designed by Gabi Boudreau, this year’s theme is based on the combination of technology and ecology, conservation and innovation. It truly resonated with many of our team’s submissions this year and pulled everything together with a great message: One Planet, One Chance. 

Pitch Sessions

Nothing could stop these girls from reaching their 4-minute finish lines, not technical difficulties, not verbal blunders, nor the hundreds of butterflies fluttering in their bellies.  No, they hurdled every barrier without losing a single member.  Hard to believe? Hit this link and see for yourself.  Thank you to all the judges who were willing to take time before the event to view the team’s completed project artifacts and then spend their Saturday morning reviewing the team’s live pitches.  We could not have done it without you!

Party in the Park

In the afternoon, DJ Be-Lo launched the Appapalooza celebration by bringing us the latest hits.  Youth of all ages found a song or two that they could rock out to. While bobbing their heads to the music, many girls socialized with friends, filled out Mingle Bingo cards, snapped pictures at the photobooth, played one of many yard games, got henna tattoos and feasted on Domino’s pizza, Sumo Eggrolls, and MN Nice Cream. Great rewards for a job well done! 

Once everyone enjoyed the food and activities Code Savvy Executive Director, Valerie Lockhart launched the awards ceremony by announcing the Mingle Bingo winner, Serenity Jonson from Zanewood Community STEAM School, who was a participant in Technovation[MN]’s Byte-Sized Challenge! She won a virtual reality birthday party for up to 8 girls sponsored by REM5. 

Byte-Sized Challenge

You may be wondering, “What is the Byte-Sized Challenge?”  The Byte-Sized Challenge is a new Code Savvy Challenge that was sponsored by Thomson Reuters.  It is a six-week, project-based, computer programming experience for girls ages 10-18. Through this program, girls gain coding skills as they design a prototype using a micro-computer called a Micro:Bit

In its pilot season, the Byte-Sized Challenge had 7 teams of girls participate: 4 teams from Zanewood Community STEAM School in Brooklyn Park and 3 teams from Barack & Michelle Obama Elementary School in St. Paul. The Zanewood teams presented at their school’s STEAM Fest on May 24th and the Obama teams will be presenting at their school on June 3rd. Thank you to Thomson Reuters for sponsoring the program with curriculum development, purchasing Micro:Bits, and providing mentors.

Spark Scholarship Winners

Next, we announced the 2022 Spark Scholarship Award recipients. This scholarship is for girls interested in computer science and/or business entrepreneurship and is awarded to any girl who has participated in any present or past programs.

  • The 8-11 year old $250 scholarship recipient was Larkin Geisinger. 
  • In our 12-14 year old division, we have four $500 scholarship award winners:
    • Ruhi Malgi
    • Sarah Smith
    • Celine Sorour
    • Genevieve Starkson
  • Our five 15-18 year old division recipients will receive $1,000 scholarships:
    • Lilian Hanson
    • Alecia Jendro
    • Zoke Sackih
    • Fiona Schaack
    • Priyanka Suresh. 
  • Our 19-26 year old scholarship recipient will receive $1,000 and was Ashley Chen. 
  • Finally, the Rebecca Scholarship of $1,100 went to Shriya Srinivas.

Technovation[MN] Awards

We closed out the 2022 Appapalooza celebration by announcing the Technovation[MN] awards.  

Congratulations to all the girls, families, mentors, judges, and volunteers for completing another successful Technovation[MN] season!

We’d like to thank everyone involved for their support and contributions, including our sponsors – without everyone in our community, none of this would be possible.

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