Stories

What makes MIT App Inventor special is how it's global community of users have embraced the tool and implemented in a variety of ways. The following are stories that our community has submitted about the programs they have developed that integrate MIT App Inventor. If you have a story of MIT App Inventor In Action, please use the SUBMIT YOUR CONTENT button to share your story with us and the MIT App Inventor Community at large.

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Deerfield Community School - App Inventor Tablet Pilot

Supported by the MIT App Inventor team and Google Education, Deerfield Community School in Deerfield, NH launched a two-week pilot program for seventh graders to take what they'd learned in science and build interactive apps to educate their peers about these topics.

Computer App Programming (CAP) Competition in Hong Kong

Sponsor(s) IEEE Hong Kong Section Computer Society Chapter and Hong Kong Association for Computer Education

Location The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China

Audience/Participants
More than 40 secondary school teams in Hong Kong

Resaca Middle School Team Invited to 2014 White House Science Fair Congratulations to the team of middle school students from Los Fresnos,Texas for garnering more accolades for their “Hello, Navi!”mobile app designed to assist the visually impaired in navigating their school. See the full article in the Brownsville Herald.
OASIS members lighting the Innovation Spark in Young Minds OASIS Workshop

AT&T employees are actively involved in STEM training in their communities to promote and support innovation in young minds. In 2013, OASIS at AT&T (the South Asian Employee Organization at AT&T) set an ambitious goal to teach 1000 students how to make their own mobile applications using MIT App Inventor.

Girls Code program in Utah encourages girls to pursue CS degrees

Girls Code At CTEC (Canyon Technology Education Center in Sandy, UT) is a program designed to introduce high school age girls to computer science and programming during the summer. It has operated since 2012 and has served 13 girls each year in the program. The girls learn about computer science and program apps with MIT's App Inventor software as well as have mentoring sessions with local women leaders in technology including Pluralsight, Kodefy, and Adobe. Each girl successfully makes a few applications in class including their own version of the colored dots program and a program of their own design. The program has encouraged 4 girls so far to take computer science at the high school level in Utah and multiple girls to take computer science in college, so far we have three girls in the CS program at the University of Utah.

K-8 Division International App Winner

While many 12-year olds are playing video games or pulling pranks, this 12-year old came up with the idea for a winning app. Arjun Kumar won 1st place in the K-8 division of the 2012 MIT App Inventor competition. Arjun is a seventh grade student from Velammal Vidyashram school in Surapet, Chennai, India. His winning app is called Ez School Bus Locator. The app helps parents with and without smartphones view the live location of their child's school bus, check whether their child is inside the bus, and know when the school bus will reach the targeted destination.

Winning App Featured in TIME For Kids

TIME for Kids featured this story about a team of North Dakota middle school students who used App Inventor to create an app to encourage more recycling in their community. The students were finalists in the 2013 Verizon Innovative App Challenge.

Idaho Upward Bound Program Teaches College Readiness with App Inventor Shaleeni, one of Hsu's students.

Yu-Chang Hsu, a professor of educational technology at Boise State University, usually teaches grad students. But for the past two summers, he has taught high school seniors to make their own apps with App Inventor, as part of Upward Bound, a program designed to prepare low-income students for college enrollment. Hsu notes that making functional apps quickly is fun for students, and that app design is a great way to learn problem solving skills. One of his students, Shaleeni (shown here), won a state competition with the app she designed.

Plant Data Collector: a field biologist’s personal assistant

Jere Boudell is a professor of biology at Clayton State University. When she discovered App Inventor she finally had a way to built the app she's always needed for collecting botanical data in the field.

East Palo Alto girls create app to clean up graffiti, trash EPA Chica Squad thumbnail

Technovation Challenge is the world’s largest and longest-running tech competition in which girls work with MIT App Inventor to design their own mobile apps. This year's challenge “What is a problem in your community for which you could create an app as a solution?” drew submissions from 114 teams of girls from around the world. The EPA Chica Squad from East Palo Alto, CA made it to the top 20 worldwide for their app to clean up trash and graffiti in their community.

Empowering Girls App As Part of Sanitation Hack Challenge

On March 22, 2013, the World Bank announced the Top 10 finalists of the Sanitation Hackathon App Challenge . Empowering Girls, an app created by Trinity College Student Pauline Lake and K8 Computer Science Teacher Patrice Gans, along with mentors Trishan de Lanerolle and Professor Ralph Morelli, was one of the top 10.

App Inventor App sends Arduino Sensor Data to Internet

Kerimil’s app pushes temperature data collected by an Arduino sensor to a Cosm website, Cosm being a service that enables the integration of apps and Arduino devices. Kerikil’s app uploads temperature data in real time at regular intervals of his choosing to the site. He has made his code easily available, and it’s a great jumping off point for designers looking to integrate and publish data from external sensors.

Voice-Controlled Arduino for Beginners

Developer Kerimil used App Inventor to quickly and easily develop a program that allows the user to turn an Arduino-driven LED on and off using voice commands. The user can also control the LED using buttons on the Android device. Kerimil’s project shows how easily even beginners can create an app that will interface with microcontrollers.

Bunny Bolt: Location-sensing outdoor fitness game

Bunny Bolt is an outdoor fitness app developed by a group of Wellesley students that uses the threat of killer bunnies to get kids ages 8-14 outside. Created with App Inventor, the game tracks players as they physically move around capturing virtual escaped magician’s rabbits.

Draughts Game virtual reality with App Inventor

The Draughts (Checkers) Game is an augmented reality game built with App Inventor. Players use their phones to choose their team and starting position on the board, then they move around like human checker pieces on a large outdoor field. The game tracks movements using GPS, showing the location of each checker on the virtual board depicted on the players' screens.

My Droid Robot controlled by App Inventor

This "DroidBot" Android Robot is driven by Arduino components and controlled over BlueTooth by a mobile phone app developed with App Inventor. Marcelo Ávila de Oliveira, shared this charming video of the DroidBot responding to commands from the phone, set to the music "I Can Read Your Mind."

Technovation Challenge Winning App, I.O.U, now available on Google Play

I.O.U was created by the Sparkling APPles team from Mountain View, California as part of the Technovation Challenge. Since most of the girls have no experience coding, they build their apps using App Inventor. "Because we needed to put together an app in such a short amount of time, App Inventor was a great program since it allowed us to fully understand programming concepts without requiring us to learn a programming language. With its intuitive functions and user interface, our group successfully created an app in under ten weeks!" stated Diana Gong.

Mobile Apps Course draws 50% women, attracts new CS majors

The University of San Francisco's App Inventor course attracts nontechnical students and has encouraged women to consider majoring in computer science. Business Week ran this video story featuring students Kelly Lazzara and Andrea Conway, and their professor David Wolber, speaking about how the course opens up the field of computer science in an approachable, fun, and engaging way by allowing them to quickly build apps for real-world purposes.

DroidBall: Intelligent Systems two-day camp takes students from beginner to robot programmer

Monash University Sunway Campus School of IT held an Open Day event called “Intelligent System Boot Camp 2011” to engage the younger generation of Malaysian students to get involved in Intelligent System development. The workshop teaches young students to use LEGO NXT robots with App Inventor technology as the controller of the robot.

App Inventor in Taiwan

The CAVE Education Group promotes robotics education in Taiwan. Their website http://www.appinventor.tw/ hosts many App Inventor lessons, particularly ones involving the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® components. In May 2012, the CAVE Education Groupreleased a book in Mandarin Chinese so that App Inventor users around the world would be able to follow tutorials and program apps for themselves.

United States Marines use App Inventor in the Field

Chris Metzger, United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant, has used App Inventor to create an app that helps other Marines destroy weaponry captured in the field. In his words, he is “creating an app that calculates net explosive weights so that [his] fellow Marines can utilize it in country to destroy explosives and ammunition, and do it safely.” This striking example of personal use of App Inventor shows how mobilizing and empowering it is for anybody to be able to create an app easily and quickly.

Mobile Apps for Non-CS Majors at USF

At the University of San Francisco, App Inventor is taught as a core curriculum course to non-computer-science majors. Many of the students take the course because they hate Math and the course covers this dreaded requirement.

Apps for Haiti mobile phone in use during food distribution in Haiti

App Inventor came to the rescue when humanitarian aid workers in Haiti needed a way to track data in the field. Two apps, one to track rainfall and one to track commodities, were developed during the Humanitarian FOSS Project's Rhok (Random Hacks of Kindness) weekend. The Haiti Commodity App tracks commodity prices collected from various locations within the markets. The Haiti Rain Check app collects and records rainfall data from rain gauges scattered around Haiti. View this short video clip to get a sense of the power of App Inventor to help with real-world problems.

Award-winning Wild Hog Tracker

Lawrence County High School students in Alabama developed a simple app to document hog sightings. The data collected in the field will aid scientists in understanding the problem of invasive feral hogs. The app earned third place in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, winning $100,000 in tech prizes for our school. The contest required the students to select an environmental problem in our local area and use STEM to work toward a solution.

I'll Write That App for You

My name is Pauline Lake and I am one of two Trinity College students whom was chosen to work with Trinity College's Humanitarian Free Open Source Software (HFOSS) during the summer of 2010. That summer I worked with another Trinity College student and two high school teachers to learn and evaluate App Inventor’s potential in K-12 education. I am a firm believer of hands-on education and using things that students are interested in, to motivate them to want to learn.

Teaching Mobile App Design with App Inventor at Boise State University

At Boise State University, we offered an online workshop in summer 2011 and an online graduate course in fall 2011 on mobile app design for teaching and learning using App Inventor. The workshop was offered through Extended Studies, and the course was offered through Department of Educational Technology. Similar to much of the wonderful effort on AI for education around the globe, we have interesting curriculum and excited students.

Teacher Stories: University of San Francisco

Dave Wolber, professor at the University of San Francisco, talks about how the use of App Inventor in his CS0 course has changed the way his non-CS major students view computer science and technology.

Teacher Stories: Youth Radio Mobile Action Lab

Elizabeth Soep from Youth Radio talks about how her students learn to become creators of technology platforms that distribute media stories.

Teacher Stories: Novel Approaches to CS0, Mills College

Ellen Spertus, professor at Mills College, discusses how she used App Inventor to teach CS0.

Teacher Stories: Youth App Lab, Uplift Inc.

Leshell Hately talks about how she uses App Inventor to introduce computer science to African American youth from Washington DC.

Teaching Teachers About Mobile Technology

Professor Richard Carter in the Graduate School of Education at Lesley University

Relevant and Real World Computing in the UK

In August 2011, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the British Computer Society asked Jeremy Scott to exemplify the teaching of Computing Science to Scotland’s junior high school students. Here’s his App Inventor story…

For over twenty years, desktop operating systems were the basis of most students’ experience of Computing. Today’s learners have a different experience of Computing: it’s on-line, social and increasingly mobile. Computing devices have become more tactile and personal, the result of convergence of numerous technologies from multi-touch to motion-sensing and GPS.

A Young Adult's Reflections on App Inventor Youth from Youth Radio Mobile Action Lab work on apps

Ever try teaching computer science to a group of teenagers right after they get out of a long day at school? I would expect it to be remarkably difficult and frustrating. But that’s just what I did last week, and it was great. When I enrolled at Youth Radio three years ago as a 16-year-old interested in journalism, I had no idea that pretty soon I’d be teaching fellow teenagers how to create mobile apps.

Lucky for us at the Youth Radio’s Mobile Action Lab, we have been able to use an amazing tool to get these students excited and focused. We host week-long App Inventor Workshops, to get hands-on experiences with mobile app development, and hopefully to spark an interest in computer science.

An App for Women's Health

I have been a women’s health Nurse Practitioner for 23 years. As part of my doctoral capstone project at Regis College I decided to develop a mobile app to educate women about the Pap test. Working closely with Professor Ralph Morelli at Trinity College, we met weekly for several months to build this app using App Inventor for Android.

After School with App Inventor in Ireland

Last May I started playing around with the idea of doing some sessions on Google App Inventor in my kids' Primary (K-12) School. I'd had great success trying it out with three of my own kids aged 12 to 7.