HHS team named ‘Best in State’ for first-aid app

Members of the ?Best in State? app development team from Hillsboro High School pose with the certificates they received from Verizon. Seated from left are Jared Dyck, Travis King, Jonathan Hinerman, Reece Berens, Carson Herbel and Nathan Simhiser. Standing behind them is Creigh Bell, HHS technology instructor and TSA adviser. Don Ratzlaff / Free Press? Team in the running for Verizon?s top prize.

Jonathan Hinerman was scanning the Technology Student Association Face?book page this summer when he noticed videos by TSA members making presentations about apps they were proposing for something called the Verizon Innova?tive App Idea Challenge.

The contest piqued the interest of the Hillsboro High School sophomore.

?I wanted to do it,? he said. ?So I talked to some guys and they all seemed pretty interested in wanting to do it, too.?

Hinerman and his five-member team went to work?during daily study halls, plus a few evenings and Saturdays?to develop an app concept for the contest.

Last week, their concept was named ?Best in State? by the Verizon judges. The team will find out Friday whether it will be named ?Best in Region,? which would give them an opportunity to win the national contest to be announced Feb. 3.

?All that hard work paid off,? Hinerman said.

He estimated the six-member team?which also includes Nathan Simhiser, Reece Berens, Travis King, Carson Herbel and Jared Dyck?spent around 100 man hours developing the concept.

?Our goal is to make it to nationals,? King said.

The challenge

The contest, which drew 1,099 entries from across the country, required participants to develop an app concept from one of three focus areas: health care, education or environmental substantiability.

?It had to help out the community in some way, mainly,? King said. ?They want it to be original. It can?t be a game, of course?more like a tool that you can use.?

The team came up with DEB, an acronym that stands for Digital Esmarch Bandage.

?The Esmarch bandage was a bandage used after the Franco-German war,? Hiner?man said. ?It was basically the bandage, but it had instructions on how to use it and other first-aid techniques, on the bandage.

?Our app is a first-aid and survival app, basically for situations where you don?t have service or the ability to get help,? he added. ?It will show you how to do first aid, with or without a kit.?

The app would include additional information, such as knot-tying and even Morse Code that will flash from a flashlight or beep on a phone speaker. The team would like to develop versions of it in multiple languages.

?The person who thought of most of the idea is Travis,? Hinerman said. ?We sat down and generated 50 to 60 ideas. It ended up being a compilation.?

The contest rules required the team to submit a written summary of the team?s app concept, as well as a promotional video and essay.

Efforts rewarded

The further a concept advances in the contest, the greater the reward.

As a ?Best in State? winner, the team will be recognized on the Verizon Innovative App Challenge website, and each team member receives a certificate from Verizon.

In addition, the team has been invited to participate in a virtual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) event scheduled for today, Jan. 14.

Team members will have the opportunity to interact with one of the country?s foremost scientists and engineers, Hugh Herr, known as MIT?s ?Bionic Man,? who Time Magazine called ?The Leader of the Bionic Age.?

Herr lost both his legs in a rock-climbing accident, and has replaced them with robotic versions.

?We feel our app would tie in personally with (Herr) because he lost his legs in a rock-climbing accident in which he was not able to get as much help as he normally would have probably gotten,? Hinerman said.

If the team?s app concept is named ?Best in Region,? the school will receive $5,000 to pursue STEM education programs. ?Best in Nation? would mean $15,000 more for the school, including the opportunity to actually develop the app.

Some of the money would be used to send additional TSA members at HHS to the organization?s national conference.

Creigh Bell, technology instructor and TSA adviser at HHS, credited the team for its initiative and dedication to the extra-curricular project.

?I think they saw an opportunity and they snagged it, ganged up and accomplished it,? Bell said. ?It?s a self-motivated group, and very representative of our TSA.

?It?s refreshing to see students see something they want and simply work at it until they get there,? Bell added. ?It?s not waiting until they have the approval of someone, it?s simply looking at a criteria or a goal and then not stopping until it?s met.?

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