STATE: North Carolina’s first Ready, Set, App! winners announced

Published 11:48 am Tuesday, June 16, 2020


Three teams of students from North Carolina high schools developed winning mobile apps in the state’s first Ready, Set, App! Contest.

The winners of the statewide competition are: Team STEMGINEERS from Wake STEM Early College High School in Wake County, Team EcoEye from Chapel Hill High School in Orange County and Team Eagles from Uwharrie Charter Academy in Randolph County. The winners will be formally recognized at the Ready, Set, App! 2021 Kickoff at Meredith College in the fall.

Ready, Set, App! challenged high school students across North Carolina to develop a mobile app to solve a problem in their school or community. The teams competed virtually, and each member of the winning teams received prizes. The contest helps students develop and use three key skills: mobile app development, professional and personal development and interpersonal and soft skills through teamwork development.

“This contest pushes students to help solve problems in their own communities while honing the skills they’ll need to succeed in the world of work,” Gov. Roy Cooper said. “Congratulations to the winners, you are tomorrow’s leaders and we can see from your work that you will do great things in the future.”

“We are truly amazed by the students who competed in the Ready, Set, App! competition this year. These teams not only showed great empathy by identifying opportunities where they could help improve their schools and communities, but also displayed ingenuity and technological prowess by developing apps to address these problems,” said Lisa Marie Ferrell, senior director of communications at Lenovo, a sponsor of the competition. “At Lenovo, our mission is to provide smarter technology for all and we are proud to sponsor this program that fosters the same vision in the leaders of tomorrow.”

More information about the 2020 winners:

First Place — Team STEMGINEERS from Wake STEM Early College High School in Wake County. Team members Nicholas Tran, Robert English, Adam Rouzky, Martim Gaspar and Maryam Geurrab developed an app to provide free peer tutoring resources for students in Title I schools. The eleventh-grade students were led by their advisor, Computer Programing teacher Melvin Lockamy.

Second Place –Team EcoEye from Chapel Hill High School in Orange County. Team members tenth grade students Ayden Xu, Savannah Xu, and Middle College High School eleventh grade students Valerie Ziegler and Maya Gilliom developed an app to raise awareness about recycling and help people know how to properly dispose of different kinds of waste. The group was led by advisor, AP Computer Science teacher Garrison Reid.

Third Place — Team Eagles from Uwharrie Charter Academy in Randolph County. Team members Lille Justice, Madelyn Fesmire, Karsyn Brower and Makayla Robbins designed an app to help encourage donations for students to provide school supplies and educational opportunities. The team of tenth graders was led by their advisor, Assistant Dean James Green.

Each of the teams is made up of 3-5 participants and an educator who serves as their advisor. In addition, a peer mentor assisted the students throughout the app development process.

Serving as peer mentors were NC School of Science and Mathematics students Sriya Mantena and Nithya Sampath, Apex Friendship High School student Gabrian Chua and Enloe Magnet High School students Shreya Gundam, Udai Virk and Annasimone Halim. The peer mentors assisted the students in developing their app and pitch for a panel of more than 30 judges, including business leaders, IT professionals and educators.

The competition, open to all North Carolina high school students, will be held again in 2021 with a kickoff event planned for this fall. For more information regarding the Ready, Set, App! Competition visit