At Citizen Schools campuses across the country, middle school students teamed up with Googlers to create eleven WOW! projects. Student apprentices made video games, wrote blogs, redesigned products, and sold travel packages around the world. At the end of the semester, a judging committee selected the three top projects to compete in an online voting contest – The Google WOW! Challenge – and invited all Google employees to cast a vote for their favorite project. The winning team of middle school students worked with professional programmers as their guides to choose and develop their own Android application for mobile devices. Their ten weeks of learning made them the first middle school students in the nation to work with Android technology! The winners will receive Google hoodies and a pizza party. Even better, their school - Brooklyn School for Global Studies in New York - will receive a $1,000 technology grant that will benefit the entire student body.
"I'm really excited for the students, who worked very hard to get their WOW! together,” said Sonny Frankel, one of the Android apprenticeship Citizen Teachers. “Programming can be incredibly challenging, especially since it required a lot of concentration after school when other kids were out playing. If there was one thing we learned from the apprenticeship it was that these kids are really itching to be exposed to more technologies. They couldn't get enough of the phones and computers!”
"The Google apprenticeship was fun because I got to work with cool technology and also use some of the things I had been learning in math to make a phone game", explains Jesus Dorado-Perez, a 7th grade apprentice. "I used things like plotting points on a grid and the x- and y-axis to make our game better. The Citizen Teachers from Google helped me a lot and made it easy for me to understand.