Stephen Pradarelli, Strategic Communications Director, University of Iowa

ise-coding_garage-student_group_photoFor the third year, the University of Iowa Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (OVPR&ED) helped sponsor the Innovative Software Engineering (ISE) Coding Garage this summer, bringing together 15 high school students from the Iowa City area to create their own mobile apps.

Because of the partnership between the Coralville-based ISE and OVPR&ED’s prototyping and 3D rendering resource, protostudios, the workshop was free to students, who met at the UI’s BioVentures Center in Coralville weekly for nine weeks.

Participants also had the chance to vie for cash awards in a pitch competition held Wednesday, Aug. 9. Presentations were judged by peers, ISE Coding Garage mentors, parents and ISE executives and engineers based on app design, user experience, practicality, originality and presentation.

Twelve students gave seven presentations. First place, and $500, went to City High School student Kawther Rouabhi, for developing “lightleaf,” an app for gardeners. Rouabhi also won first place at last year’s Coding Garage competition.

Second place (and $250) went to Yegor Kuznetsov and Kalep McClenathan, students at West High School, for developing a game called “Down to Earth.” And third place (and $100) went to Lukas Anson and Misha Kuznetsov of West High School for “Cook N’ Shop,” an app for home cooks.

“Once again, the students blew me away with their ingenuity and creativity,” said Daniela Williams, ISE project manager and organizer of the ISE Coding Garage. “Beyond being lots of fun, our workshops really help cultivate the technical skills that will serve the students well into college and their careers. We are very grateful to have protostudios’ support.”

While ISE provided leadership and software engineering interns, protostudios contributed by making Android phones available by request to students in the program as well as financial support in the form of food, and cash prizes for winners of the app demonstration.

Innovative Software Engineering (ISE)