Temple University's Urban Apps & Maps Studio: first summer session demos - Technical.ly Philly

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Aug. 12, 2013 12:30 pm

Temple University’s Urban Apps & Maps Studio: first summer session demos

The program aimed to teach minority students about design and business through projects that impact their community. That means that the 130 participants didn't just build something they thought was cool -- they actually spoke to local business owners to find out what the neighborhood needed.
The Urban Apps and Maps high school students that developed a prototype for headphones that can monitor your heart rate and choose appropriate music for your workout.

The Urban Apps and Maps high school students that developed a prototype for headphones that can monitor your heart rate and choose appropriate music for your workout.

Quit fumbling with your phone to choose the right music for your workout.

Four high school girls built a prototype of Heart Rate Headphones, a pair of headphones that monitors your heart rate and uses that information to choose appropriate workout music. They demoed the headphones and the app they built on Thursday, at a demo day for Temple University’s Urban Apps and Maps Studio summer session.

The program aimed to teach minority students about design and business through projects that impact their community. That means that the 130 participants didn’t just build something they thought was cool — they actually spoke to local business owners to find out what the neighborhood needed.

For example, the students who worked on an app that could prevent shoplifting got the idea from store owners on North Broad Street who were struggling with shoplifters. And the students that built a booksharing website? They were driven by libraries closing in their neighborhoods.

It was the first time that the studio offered a summer session of the program, which usually runs during the school year, and some students will continue to work on their projects with the studio during the year, said program coordinator Michaela Newman.

The summer session is the first of three Urban Apps and Maps summer programs, backed by a $635,000 Knight Foundation grant that helped pay the students for their work. The program aims to help students, many of which are high school seniors or recent graduates, prepare for jobs, Newman said.

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