Mich. middle schoolers create app to help keep parks safe and clean

- A group of sixth and seventh graders in Wyandotte developed an app in a competition that is designed to make the community a better place.

The app is called POP, which stands for Protect Our Parks.

They got together before school for two months and thought of the idea as part of the Verizon Innovative App Challenge in which a team of students works with an advisor to create a mobile app that addresses a real need or problem in their school or community. Their idea is simple, but genius.

"Take a picture of the graffiti, damage in the parks, stuff like that, and report it to the authorities," says seventh grader Reilly Gomez.

And even at their young age, they understand how the game works.

"We're hoping that maybe if we just send it in enough times, we'd get on their nerves and they'd fix it for us," 

The team of six from Woodrow Wilson Middle School was named the state winner and was hoping they'd get chosen as national winner.

"About the middle of January we found out that we did not move on as a regional winner, so we knew we couldn't win as the national winner. But our hope is still to get the fan favorite. That's our ticket to get our app made," says principal Jason Krajewski.

So, to become fan favorite, they turned to social media, school sporting events and some of the kids even knocked on a couple doors. Their hard work paid off -- and they snagged the fan favorite award.

The next step for the group will be working with a group of MIT programmers to actually make the app. After that, they'll present it at the national conference in Nashville in June.

You can check out a commercial the team made for their app below, or by clicking here

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