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  • Bob Mikler

911 Cell Phone Bank Helps NJ High School with Verizon App Challenge

This past summer, we received a request from Tony La Rocca, a computer sciences teacher from Northern Highlands Regional High School, in Allendale, New Jersey. Mr. La Rocca had heard that we provide cell phones to certain members of the community, and asked whether we could make a few devices available to his students, for use in his Intro/Honors Computer Science class. His students are competing in the Verizon App Challenge, along with students from across the country.

He thought that, if each student had his/her own android device for the purpose of testing their applications, they would be able to accomplish more than if sharing devices was necessary, or if they were forced to use their own individual devices. It was also desirable that all devices be the same, in order to avoid any different programming requirements that might be caused by variances in the operating systems of different makes and models of android devices. It made sense to us, and we were happy to help. Before school started, we sent 25 refurbished Samsung devices to Mr. La Rocca for his students to use.

His students are currently researching possible mobile application ideas which may benefit the community. After they have decided on an app idea, they will design and create a prototype of their mobile application, using MIT’s App Inventor Program. Their goal isn't only to compete, but also to create a working app for the benefit of the community. The app would then be published on the Google Play Store for anyone to download!

We wish Mr. La Rocca and his students success in the competition, and we'll keep posted on the date on when you can download the app his students create!

If you know of a classroom or teacher that may need a few devices for their class/students, please let us know by emailing

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