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Students Build Mobile Apps That Aid Westchester Seniors

Teams attended workshops at Pace’s Pleasantville campus, where they received coaching from industry experts on how to fine-tune the design, coding and presentation of their apps.
Teams attended workshops at Pace’s Pleasantville campus, where they received coaching from industry experts on how to fine-tune the design, coding and presentation of their apps. Photo Credit: Westchestergov.com

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Students at Westchester Community College recently created an app to help families stay connected to their elderly loved ones who are with caregivers--and to keep track of important things such as what medications were taken, what meals were eaten and what kind of pain they may have experienced.

“We conducted focus groups and wanted to come up with a way to have more interaction between families and caregivers,” said Laura Antonucci, a marketing student at WCC. “Our app is called Connect Care, and it would help with connecting and organizing information. It also would include a family tree, so caregivers can remind seniors about family birthdays, recitals, anniversaries, and other important events like that.”

The Westchester Community College team is one of dozens competing in the Third Annual #WestchesterSmart Mobile App Development Bowl, an initiative started by Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino and Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, according to a report from Weschestergov.com.

On Friday, March 3, teams attended workshops at Pace’s Pleasantville campus, where they received coaching from industry experts on how to fine-tune the design, coding and presentation of their apps, the report said.

“We are so proud of all of you in this room,” Astorino told a room full of students Friday. “The best and the brightest are coming to Westchester, and the best and the brightest are already in Westchester.... This is what makes Westchester smart – our talented young people, eager and able to do innovative new things. And in the case of the App Bowl, you’re putting technology to work for the generation that has come before you.”

To learn more about the contest or to become a judge, volunteer or sponsor, visit bit.ly/appbowl2017 or send an e-mail to MobileAppContest@pace.edu.

“This year’s Mobile App Development Bowl is the biggest and best,” said Dr. Jonathan Hill, Dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University. “Three years ago, we had 170 registered participants. Last year’s contest had more than 250. This year we’re at 440. I think we are on to something here, Mr. Astorino. I think we have tapped into some real talent.”

Contestants will present their final apps during the Judging and Awards Ceremony at Pace University on Friday, April 28, vying for cash prizes, paid internships, tech gear and bragging rights. In the meantime, students are working to develop their apps along with their team coaches, according to the report.

Samantha Jagmohan and Savika Balran, seniors at Nellie A. Thornton High School in Mount Vernon, are developing an app called “Pointers,” which offers a range of health, nutrition and everyday tips to seniors.

“I think it’s going to be empowering for them,” said Jagmohan, 17. “They’re getting to an older age, but they can still take care of themselves. It’s a way to monitor these things for themselves without being told what to do.”

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