Superintendent’s Memo No. 210-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

August 1, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  2014-2015 Verizon Innovative App Challenge

Middle and high school students working in teams of five to seven with a faculty advisor are encouraged to participate in the 2014-2015 Verizon Innovative App Challenge by developing an original mobile app concept that incorporates STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) principles and content and addresses a real need or problem in their school or community. While designing their apps, students consider marketplace need, usefulness, audience and viability. All apps must align with one of three priorities for education, energy management, or healthcare (see Teams submit their design concepts online through an App Concept Overview and Summary, a three-to-five minute video and essay response.

One middle school and one high school team from each state will be judged Best in State and be eligible for consideration as Best in Region winners. Twenty-four Best in Region winners will be selected from the Best in State teams around the country based on a judging rubric. Each of the 24 regional winning schools (12 middle and 12 high school teams) will receive $5,000 grants plus virtual support and training to help them build their app concepts.

A distinguished panel of STEM educators and corporate innovators will then judge the Best in Region teams’ app concepts and designs based on their online submissions and their presentations during a live webinar. The four top middle school and four top high school teams will be selected and announced as 2015 Verizon Innovative App Challenge winners. Each of the eight winning schools will receive $15,000 grants plus professional support and training to help them build their app concepts and bring them to life.

All students on each winning team will receive a tablet device and be invited to present their developed apps in person at the 2015 National Technology Student Association Conference in Dallas, Texas, in June 2015.

Registration for teams opens on August 4, 2014, at Submission deadline is November 24, 2014.

If you have any questions, please contact Jean Weller, instructional technology specialist, by e-mail at or by phone at (804) 225-2825.