Ekal App-a-thon

Ekal Vidyalaya organized an app-a-thon Nov. 12, 2017, for students in the San Diego, Calif., area. An all-girls team, which included an Indian American student, won first place. (photo provided)

The Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of the U.S.A., San Diego chapter, organized its first Southern California App-a-thon competition Nov. 12, 2017, at Qualcomm in San Diego, Calif.

The app-a-thon was conceptualized to encourage interest in STEM education, especially in kids ages 10-18. The app-a-thon was an innovative way to involve kids in STEM activities and connect students around the world. Students did not need prior experience in app development to participate and the goal was to encourage students to dream big.

Senior students from local San Diego high schools, including The Bishop's School, La Jolla High School, Scripps Ranch High School and Canyon Crest Academy, worked hard to make the event a success, according to a press release. Volunteers took the time to learn the app-a-thon platform so that they would be able to assist teams and ensure a positive learning experience for all students involved.

The theme was ‘holiday’ and each team was allowed to work on its concept through all stages of development, including conceptualization, white boarding, designing, coding and implementation of the actual device. The scoring was based on a comprehensive scale with points allocated for concept, design, implementation, presentation and team dynamics. 

More than 55 students from middle and high schools participated and a team of five girls won the first price of $500. The team included students Meredith, Michelle, Kira and Bella from Bishops High School; and Pooja from Scripps Ranch High School.

According to a member of Ekal Vidyalaya’s executive committee, based on the success of the San Diego event, Ekal Vidyalaya is considering organizing app-a-thon competitions with chapters across the U.S. and creating a national platform for teams to innovate and compete.

Ekal Vidyalaya is a grass-roots organization that brings learning and education directly to children and much of its work involves operating one-teacher schools in remote rural and tribal villages in India, often on only one dollar a day. Ekal Vidyalaya has chapters in throughout the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and India. 

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