Students Compete in App Competition to Make the World a Better Place

May 11, 2016 by Crescerance

On Tuesday May 10, 2016. MAD about Mattering, a global project that challenges teams of middle and high school students to develop apps that tackle social problems held the project’s first finals competition.

Following the quad-engineering model, students from different schools across the US were split into 13 cross school teams to virtually collaborate in the mobile app development competition. Teams included students from the following schools: Ron Clark Academy-Atlanta, GA; Westwood Schools- Camilla, GA ; Flowery Branch High School – Flowery Branch, GA;, Holy Trinity- Melbourne, Florida and Lee Driver Middle School- Winchester, Indiana. 5 out of the 13 teams were selected to compete in the finals.

The five apps presented in Tuesday’s competition were Stop Sex Trafficking; Suicide Prevention; No Excuse for Animal Abuse; OVERTY (Getting over poverty); and Uncut, Preventing Self-harm. Learn more about the student’s apps here.

A finals select panel including Rohit Agarwal, general manager of Amazon Education; Lindsay Bayne, senior marketing manager, Microsoft in Education; Jaime Casap, chief education evangelist at Google; Joseph South, director of the office of educational technology at the U.S. Department of Education; and Ankur Goel, vice president for product strategy, MAD-learn by Crescerance, judged the presentations.

Students collaborated in a virtual environment, contributing a wide variety of skills to develop their app. Skillsets included; graphic design, web programming, mobile programming, project management, branding, writing, etc.

“MAD about Mattering has sought to prove that students could collaborate as they created apps, websites, and social media campaigns. The final event on Tuesday was an amazing display of three months of hard work and striving to make a difference in the world,” said Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher

While focusing on making the world a better place through mobile app development, students learned so much more than just how to make apps. Here’s what they have to say about the project…

“I learned how to make an app and collaborate with multiple people from different schools. It can be hard to communicate, so I became comfortable after a couple of days working with them and they just started feeling like ‘normal’ classmates.” Cameron Drinkwater, Assistant Project Manager – No Excuse for Abuse

I learned about leadership as part of this project. Leadership is not easy. When you’re leading with someone, always listen to other people’s ideas instead of always trying to put your ideas in.” Ivana Santiago – Choose2Matter

The winning team is Uncut, the self harm prevention app.
Crescerance will be formally submitting their app into the app store, enabling them to share their creation with the world. Learn more about Uncut app here.


The visionaries behind MAD about Mattering include, Vicki Davis, Full-Time teacher and IT Director at Westwood Schools in Camilla, GA; Angela Maiers, Keynote Speaker and Alefiya Bhatia, CEO of Crescerance.

“This is really an alpha project, and our purpose was to prove it can be done,” Davis said. “I want our kids to be on the leading, bleeding edge of compassion-based engineering.”

To learn more about joining the MAD about Mattering movement visit

To view the full competition click here.