It’s commonplace in today’s world to see kids with noses glued to their mobile phones. Resident Services Coordinator Kimberly Maya decided to use that as an advantage and challenge students at our Compass Rose community to learn more about how mobile apps work. In collaboration with Dreams for Schools, Compass Rose recently held a 10-week AppJam+ mobile application coding class for 18 middle school-aged students from our property and surrounding communities, including Fullerton and Buena Park.
Jamboree is intentional about providing programs like these at our properties across California, to challenge and empower residents with opportunities for a better future. This is our REACH approach to programs, a five-letter acronym that focuses on key values for our resident services to kids, families, seniors, and those living with special needs, and extends to those in neighborhoods near our properties.
AppJam+ is a great example of the letter H in REACH – Horizons that open new opportunities in a global world. Kimberly’s class connected students with an opportunity to learn coding, the language of today’s digital world, and helped them imagine the contributions they could make.
Students in AppJam+ were assigned to teams, with California State University, Fullerton students as mentors to help with the process of creating the mobile applications. The groups brainstormed ideas for their mobile applications and then began designing them using actual coding programs. Each week, they refined their projects until they had objectives, characters, multiple levels, and a completely functioning mobile application.
AppJam+ teams focused on eco-friendly apps. One application, called Filter Life, focuses on how to filter out trash from the oceans and sewer system. Wasted is a three-level app with garbage monsters attacking the world that gives the user an opportunity to get out of the house and save the world from garbage. Another team developed Save the Turtles, and the fourth team created a Ca-TRASH-trophe app, another multi-level way to clean up the oceans.
All four teams presented their mobile applications at the AppJam+ Showcase, held at University of California, Irvine. A total of 15 teams from a variety of local schools all presented their applications, discussing how their app works and presenting background information. Judges walked around to view the posters and try out each application. When the winners were announced, one of our Compass Rose teams, Ca-TRASH-trophe, won fourth place…and an Amazon Fire tablet for each team member!
Celebrating with her students, Kimberly remarked, “I’m excited that as these students continue their education and eventually enter the work world, they now have the ability to code, which expands their skills and job opportunities. This is so valuable today, especially as technology and STEM are continuously advancing.”