FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. -- Franklin Avenue Middle School’s team of 7th graders won Best in the State of New Jersey among all the middle school entries in the Verizon Innovative Learning App Challenge.
The team created the app concept, “Destination Exploration,” that is designed for children who are unable to travel due to individual circumstances such as physical disability or financial hardship.
It allows children to “virtually” travel around the world to learn about and explore different cultures and historical landmarks.
The team is now in the running for National Fan Favorite.
The winning team will receive a $15,000 award for the middle school towards science education programs and the opportunity to develop the app.
Already the local students won $5,000 for the school. If they win "Best in Nation" they will meet with a team of developers from MIT Media Lab to develop their app.
"I definitely think from personal experience that children will appreciate this app. My cousin was in the hospital with cancer last year. His dream was to travel to Costa Rica and Italy but was not able," Caroline Thoma told Daily Voice.
"An app like this would allow children to have their own individual tour guide. It will teach them about an area. It will be like going there."
Caroline added her team of seven thoroughly researched if there were other apps like their idea and "There are not. This is really educational and allows children to explore the world."
The community can support the students by voting for their app by cellphone.
The Fan Favorite and Best in Nation teams will present their completed apps at the annual Technology Student Association (TSA) Conference in Orlando, Fla., in June 2017, courtesy of Verizon Innovative Learning, the education initiative of the Verizon Foundation, according to a release.
Vote for the Franklin Lakes students' app by Feb. 14 by clicking HERE . Voters can also text XPLORE to 22333.
To watch a video the students created about their app concept, click HERE .