Westwood Students Win “Shark Tank” in Atlanta
by Vicki Davis

Westwood School students’ Drone Zone App recently won $500 and two hours with a leading venture capitalist at a “Shark Tank” style competition at the Trinity School in Atlanta. The event was part of the US Department of Education’s EdTech Developers Tour. With over 100 attendees, educators, students, entrepreneurs, investors and developers came together on Sept 10, 2015 to network and discuss how Georgia can become a hub for edtech technology innovation.

Westwood took three teams to the event, sharing apps that were developed by students during the 2014-2015 school year. Two of the apps, Drone Zone and #iCare have already been released on the iTunes store.

The “sharks” included Mark Buffington (BIP Capital), Caitlin Dooley (Georgia Asst. State Superintendent), Charlie Hubbard (Developer of GPA Learn), Owen Matthews (CNN App Developer), and Joseph South (Deputy Director – US Department of Education

Drone Zone (http://dronezoneapp.strikingly.com/) was developed by Mark Glass, Tanner Stanaland, Cole Smith, Leah Hilliard, Nicolas Johnson, Damon Deese, David McMahon, Johnson Gainous, Douglas Hatcher, and Hunter Scarbrough. The app brings together the most popular drones with reviews, the latest drone news, and drone safety information from the FAA. The “Sharks” were particularly impressed with the app trailer shot completely on a drone camera.

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Cole Smith and Mark Glass (Project Manager), are excited after they are named the winner of the #edtechdev Shark Tank in Atlanta. Crescerance, the host of the event, sent out this tweet congratulating them on their win.

The #iCare app (http://www.icareapp.org/) was developed by Elizabeth Glass, McKenlee Coleman, Gracie Bullard, Rebekah Bryan, Erin Adams, Syndey Lamberth, David Glass, and Levie Walsh. Elizabeth, Erin, Sydney, and David presented the iCare app at the event along with their app trailer.  These students had discovered alarming statistics that a significant portion of the US population suffers from depression. A simple act of being kind and caring for others has been shown to improve a person’s mood and outlook on life. This app seeks to help people be kind.

The Money Manager app (http://manageyourmoney18.wix.com/manageyourmoney#!services/cjg9) was developed by Akshay Patel, Brock Allen, Erin Nadrich, Mitt Patel, Ches Smith, Connor Smith, Cameron Godwin, and Brent Johnson. Akshay and Brent presented the app. Their goal is to help create a family friendly way to discuss money. You can see this app by downloading Crescerance App Preview and typing in the app code 151-416-167.

Student Rebekah Bryan, as a result of the high quality of the app trailer she created for #iCare, was hired by Crescerance to film and make a trailer of the EdTechDev event.

All ninth and tenth grade students at Westwood develop apps as part of the Computer Science curriculum led by Mrs. Vicki Davis. With over 108,000 Twitter followers, Mrs. Davis writes one of the top blogs in education today called the Cool Cat Teacher Blog and hosts one of the top K12 Podcasts Every Classroom Matters.

“App programming and learning to sell your vision for a product is part of what we do here at Westwood. My goal for our technology program at Westwood is to be world class. I’m proud of all of the students for programming apps and for their parents who have had many dinner table discussions about the apps this world needs to become a better place,” says Mrs. Davis.

“You can see and test all of the apps developed last year a http://westwood.wikispaces.com/Final+Shark+Tank+App+Proposals. We look forward to a new round of apps that we’ll be creating this year,” she said.


Akshay Patel and Brent Johnson talk about the Manage Your Money app to the sharks.

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The #iCare team wears shirts with the logo they custom designed. Sydney Lamberth, Levie Walsh, Elizabeth Glass and David Glass were the members of the team who presented.

Venture capitalist Mark Buffington posed hard questions to the students about their financial estimates for the apps.2015-09-10 18.46.13.jpg

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Ready to hit the road to Atlanta!