12 Birmingham, Alabama students joined forces to create an app dedicated to alleviating gun violence and they were rewarded handsomely for it. To the tune of $10,000 to be exact.
As reported by the Birmingham Times, George Washington Carver High School’s Academy of Engineering worked on the app called NeXsim, which seeks to break students out of their silos by pairing them through common interests and creating and engaging with various groups based on those interests the outlet describes.
“We noticed that [a large percentage] of African American males get in violent crimes and stuff of that sort because they don’t have anything to do, and various political leaders across the country said the same thing,” Ariyan Riggs, a senior at the high school, told the Birmingham Times.
The app also provides a calendar of events for various groups and allows people within groups to post upcoming events, as well as pictures and comments on past events.
The software on the Apple App Store by the end of spring semester 2023.
Rafael Avelino, a fellow high school worker on the project, said younger people need “more things to do,” instead of being “distracted” by negative things like violence. “I know it has affected the school a lot, and that’s why the app was important,” Avelino said.
The students participated in the Altec Innovation Challenge competition, and were required to create a mock-up of what NeXsim will look like. After presenting their research, they won over a panel of judges and ultimately won $10,000 for their efforts.
The students plan to move forward with the actual app development process. “… that’s a big thing because I’m really new to a lot of stuff that we were covering,” Ashley Pender said, also a senior who worked on the project.
“It’s a very new experience for me, and I can take that with me in the future, when I go to college, and even when I’m working for my career stuff, so I like that I’m able to experience this, especially since it’s something I’ve never done before,” she added.