USC HS Students Named Best in Nation in Verizon's Innovative App Challenge
A team of students from our high school has been named the Best in the Nation in the 2014-15 Verizon Innovative App Challenge. Congratulations to the team of Michael Nastac, Christina Park, Gaurav Bhushan, Nymisha Rameswarapu, Akshay Prasadan, and Vidhi Shah. They created the “A Look Inside” app, which satisfies the curiosity of the “natural engineer” in every child by providing elementary and middle school youngsters the opportunity to virtually explore the inner workings of common devices, from blenders to laptops. The team is sponsored by High School teacher Mrs. Patricia Palazzolo.In January, the student team was named Best in State and Best in Region. As a Best in State team, the students participated in a live, interactive question and answers session via Google Hangout with MIT’s “Bionic Man,” Hugh Herr. The 2011 TIME magazine named Mr. Herr the “Leader of the Bionic Age” due to his work in the field of biomechatronics-technology that combines human physiology and electromechanics. As a Best in Region winner, the team received a $5,000 Verizon Foundation Grant to advance the District’s STEM program.
As a Best in Nation winner, Verizon will donate an additional $15,000 Foundation Grant toward STEM education at Upper St. Clair High School. In addition, Verizon will award a Samsung Galaxy tablet for each student and their sponsor, in-person training from the MIT Master Trainers to turn the students’ concept into a working app, and an all-expenses paid trip for each team member and one guardian to the National Technology Student Association Conference this summer in Dallas.
The students and Mrs. Palazzolo received the exciting news that they had won Best in Nation when a reception was held in their honor sponsored by High School Acting Principal Dr. Lou Angelo. Senior representatives from Verizon congratulated the students for their accomplishments, along with School Board members, District administrators, and family members.
“I am so proud of Pat Palazzolo and this group of very talented students and congratulate them for being named Best in Nation in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge,” stated Dr. Patrick T. O’Toole, Superintendent of Schools.