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DHS Junior Top Winner in Maine App Challenge

A Deering High School junior, Violet Blum Levine, has taken first place in Tyler Technologies’ 2024 Maine App Challenge for creating an app to better facilitate the scheduling of parent-teacher conferences.

Casco Bay High School was also recognized in the annual contest – which provides Maine high school students the opportunity to explore the world of software design and development by building a mobile application – for having the most teams or individuals submitting an eligible entry.

Tyler Technologies, a leading provider of integrated software and technology services for the public sector, presented the awards on April 27 at a ceremony at The Maine Center in the Old Port. The winners were as follows, according to a company news release:

·      First place: Violet Blum Levine of Deering High School, who created PTConnect, a system for easily scheduling parent-teacher conferences.

·      Second place: Miles Dailey and Isaac Wright of Mt. Ararat High School, who developed PlanPal, a tool to help students keep track of their assignments.

·      Third place: Alex Pooler of Windham High School, who created Good Morning Class, an interactive check-in app for elementary school teachers and students.

The winners received scholarships totaling $10,000 in 529 college savings plans. Blum Levine won a $6,000 scholarship. Tyler Technologies also awarded $500 to Casco Bay High School in Portland for submitting the most eligible entries.

“We’re proud to recognize these talented individuals in this year’s Maine App Challenge,” said Chris Webster, president of Tyler’s ERP & Civic Division. “We hope that this contest continues to inspire these students to pursue STEM-related careers in the future. Companies in Maine, including Tyler, would welcome the talent of these bright students.”

As it did last year, Tyler collaborated with the Foster Center for Innovation at the University of Maine to host a series of free workshops for students to help with brainstorming, prototyping, and testing their applications. Tyler also partnered with the University of Maine on its Fundamentals of Innovation (INV121) course available online to high school students as an early college course that allows them to earn college credits while designing an app submission for the Maine App Challenge.

The Maine App Challenge introduces students to STEM-related disciplines and supports the notion that these students can excel in this field while remaining in Maine. Since its inception, the Maine App Challenge has gifted more than $100,000 in 529 college savings plans to students in Maine.

Photo credit: Whitney J. Fox Photography.

The Portland Public Schools is Maine’s largest school district, with more than 6,600 students, and it’s also the most diverse. About one-third of the district’s students come from homes where languages other than English are spoken—a total of 53 languages. Approximately 48 percent of the district’s students are white and 52 percent are students of color. Nearly half of PPS students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.