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Apps / Biotechnology / Competitions / Events / Women in tech

And the winner of Rep. Carney’s student app challenge is…

Four girls from Cab Calloway devised an app to help with fetal pig dissections.

Three-quarters of the winning teamAVOCADO: Emily Bravo, Minji Kong and Julia Menardy. Joy Lin is not pictured. (Photo by Lindsay Podraza)

In December, U.S. Rep. John Carney (D-Del.) called on high school students to submit an app they’ve developed as part of a national challenge.
That yielded 17 students and 13 apps for consideration. They ranged from Polytech freshman Jason Mellow’s game called Mr. Sphere, which he created with Stencyl, to Conrad sophomore Vasista Vovveti’s sales tax calculator for traveling Delawareans.
And the winner?
Meet teamAVOCADOEmily Bravo, Joy Lin, Julia Menardy and Minji Kong. The four Cab Calloway seniors created VirDoc, an app for high school biology classes that allows users to take a virtual tour of a dissection of a fetal pig, but without the gross factor.
Here’s their pitch video:

They said they got the idea when they asked an anatomy teacher if there was a need in the classroom. The teacher said it’s expensive to get fetal pigs for each student, and that some students can’t stomach dissections.
One of the contest judges, Intellitec Solutions president Rick Sommer, said he was impressed not only with the design of the app, but also its practicality.
“I think it’s something schools could really adopt,” Sommer said at the Thursday Tech Meetup where the winning app was announced. “It looks release ready.”
The girls of teamAVOCADO are self-professed STEM lovers, they said at the meetup. They’re all taking, or have taken, AP computer science, a class that they said is a good intro to coding.
Emily Bravo said they made the app at the library together. “We just had a lot of fun making it,” she said. “It’s definitely fun to get recognition for the work and hours we put into it.”
The win is icing on the cake, as the team had planned to promote the app regardless of the challenge, team member Minji Kong said.
She noted that VirDoc is not a replacement for the real thing, but serves as a good (and cost-effective) reference. The team will be taking classes to improve their Android app, she said, and they plan on branching out to web browsers so VirDoc can be used without a mobile device.
As the Delaware winners, the U.S. House of Representatives will feature VirDoc on its website, and it will also be displayed in a U.S. Capitol exhibit. Kong said the app will also go on to a national round of competition.
Rep. Carney was at the meetup Thursday and said he was pleased with the contest’s turnout. “I’m really excited about it because this is the economy of the future,” he said. “Hopefully they’ll go to on to college and then come back.”

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