FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 13, 2015
Mike Wessler, Deputy Communications Director, Governor’s Office, 444-9725
Lisa Peterson, Public Information Officer, Dept. of Environmental Quality. 444-2929
Bullock Announces Student Winners of the Governor’s Mobile App Challenge
Apps to Be Released to Make State Government More Accessible
Helena, MT-- Governor Steve Bullock today announced the winning students of the Governor’s Mobile App Challenge. Last year, Bullock challenged Montana high school students to build mobile apps for the State of Montana—highlighting their computer coding skills and working with state employees to develop ideas to make state government more accessible and effective.
“Since taking office, two of my top priorities have been improving educational opportunities and making government more effective and accessible. Through this app challenge we’ve done both,” said Bullock. “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs are essential components for our children’s education and future careers. This challenge presented students with an opportunity to grow these skills. In addition, through their apps, Montana residents will now have easier access to state data on their phones.”
Deloitte Consulting, LLP and Apttus inc. sponsored the Governor’s Mobile App Challenge, which helped to provide each winning student with a $1,000 scholarship that can be used at any college or university of their choice. Deloitte Consulting ($5,000) and Apttus Inc. ($1,000) are local application technology companies and agreed to sponsor the challenge in order to highlight STEM career opportunities.
Last May, Governor Bullock asked Montana’s state employees to submit mobile app ideas designed to help bring state government into the 21st Century by becoming more accessible and effective in the mobile economy. Bullock and Lt. Governor Angela McLean then chose the top six ideas. At the beginning of this school year, students were given the opportunity to participate in this challenge and could sign up as individuals or as teams representing their schools. Using available state data, students partnered with the State Information Technology Services Division (ITSD) and selected state agencies to design these apps.
The best-designed apps were chosen as the winners of the Governor’s Mobile App Challenge.
The apps and winning students are as follows:
- Helena High School:
- Students: Jake Pennington, Aston Maslanka, Wolfgang Schroeer-Smith, Henry Alvey III
- Teacher: Buffy Smith
- Mobile Apps: DEQ-Air Quality, Administration-Explore MT.Gov, Historical Society-Montana Explorer, FWP-Montana Trails, FWP-Sunrise/Sunset
- Capital High School:
- Students: Matt Gober, John Southworth
- Teacher: Pat Murphy
- Mobile App: MDT-Fix Your MT Road
Bullock also announced that the DEQ-Air Quality Mobile App is currently available for the public’s use at todaysair.mt.gov. This app lets Montanans monitor local air quality on their computers or mobile devices and informs them when air pollution levels may be unhealthy for outdoor activities.
The other five mobile apps will be released in the coming months.