BLHS team is best in state


Staff Report



PRESTONSBURG – Superintendent Dr. Henry Webb has announced that a Betsy Layne High School team has been selected as a Best in State winner in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge with EnviroScanner, their app concept. The victorious team competed with over 1,200 other applicants and captured the $5,000 top prize.

“We want to congratulate the BLHS team and their teacher Kelly Boles for meeting and surpassing this challenge,” Dr. Webb commented. “These kids make up Kelly’s Introduction to Computer Programming class. The team has earned the title of Best in State and now has the opportunity to participate in a nationwide challenge, the App Challenge Fan Favorite award and potentially winning another prize of $15,000.”

The team’s concept app, the EnviroScanner, would allow users to be more informed about outdoor hazards. Users could take a picture of an unknown plant or animal, producing an image search and then a pop-up screen would show potential associated dangers. A second feature of the app would be an outdoor reference guide and safety handbook. Yet a third feature is that scans deemed potentially hazardous would be added (with location) to a central database. Another feature is the ability to self-report outdoor hazard GPS locations to the database without routing through the image search and then the EnviroScanner database would generate potential danger pop-up notifications within a specified radius of users’ positions. EnviroScanner would also sync with a weather service and notifies users of area alerts. The last feature would focus on safety. The app would send text alerts to the users’ emergency contacts with location information if the user is stationary for longer than the user-defined settings.

For the national challenge, the team that gets the most votes will receive an additional $15,000 prize, the opportunity to work with MIT experts to build the app concept into a working app, and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Technology Student Association conference in Nashville, Tennessee, in June 2016.

“Again we want to congratulate this innovative team and ask that you help support them by voting,” Webb added. “Simply text the code ENVIROSCAN1 to the number 22333,” “Voting ends January 31. Best of luck to the team!”

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Staff Report

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