Student Work | Mass STEM Hub

Middle School | Gateway AC | Activity: Great App Challenge | Top App Creators Project

Check out the student work submitted for real-world industry feedback! Learn more about submitting student work to receive real-world feedback here!

Grade: Middle School

PLTW Course: App Creators

Submission type:  Activity: Great App Challenge

Project overview: In their App Creators course, students learn the basics of app design. In this culminating project, app developers determine for themselves what to build. They should clearly state what problem they intend to solve or what needs they will meet with the app, and who are the targeted users. Student work can run the gamut of games to community service apps.

Select student submission materials:

Link to full project: click here

Select judge feedback: “Hello!  I’m a backend software engineer at WHOOP in Boston. I build applications mainly in Java & Python code to measure and process heart-beats, and turn them into data that can be viewed by a user! We collect heart-rate metrics with a wrist-strap, and analyze patterns to determine when our users are asleep, exercising, or recovering from an intense workout.

I think you did a good job of structuring your layout across the tablet screen.  I think there’s a huge win (as well as some area for improvement) in your variable names. I read a lot of code every day, it’s a huge part of my job to review and comment on the code of my coworkers. Similarly, it’s the job of my coworkers to review all of my code. To make everyone’s job easier, it’s really important to make sure that our code is clean, formatted standardly and is really readable!  You have a bunch of variables whose names are descriptive and self-explanatory, like `pinkNote` and ‘darkBlueNote`. This is awesome, and makes the code a lot easier to read! Making sure that all of your variable names are this descriptive would elevate your code to the next level! It’s also important to choose a formatting style. Rather than using both snake_case and camelCase for your variable names, try to pick one and keep it consistent!

I really like how you involved user-interaction to run the xylophone!! It was a really neat idea for an app!  I’d like to see some layout formatting added to give the app a really commercial feel, maybe by adding in some more icons/images like you’d see in an app from the app-store.

I really like how you incorporated sound into the app. I’m currently looking to build a server-application that can send sound data to our mobile (Android and Apple) devices at work. It’s cool to see that you were successfully able to accomplish this in your app!  Nicely done!”

-Backend Software Engineer, WHOOP

“Hi! I’m an embedded engineer at WHOOP. I really liked your idea a lot. Your UI is easy to use! I play a lot of music as well, and love the idea of a programmable xylophone. In my field, documentation is really important – as code and ideas get more complex, it’s important to be able to communicate those ideas without someone needing to read through all your code. It was a bit hard for me to tell what each screen was supposed to do! In the future, you could add descriptions of each code block, and what each screen is supposed to do into your presentation. You’re doing great work and I’m really excited for you to continue working on apps!”

-Embedded Engineer at WHOOP

Industry Award: Top App Creators Project

School: John F Kennedy Middle School (Northampton)

Teacher: Jessica Engebretson

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