Think teenagers are up to no good on their devices? Time to reconsider. This year, teens created some amazing break-through apps impacting everything from science to cyber-bullying.
Creator: Natalie Hampton
App: Sit With Us
Eating alone in the school cafeteria is no fun. Natalie Hampton had first hand experience with this during years of severe bullying. So she decided to take action, not just for herself, but for anyone who has felt isolated in the school lunch room. She created Sit With Us, a networking app that helps kids and teens connect with others to coordinate lunches. Kids communicate privately through the app to set up safe tables where they can eat in the company of others.
Creator: Trisha Prabhu
The teen brain is notoriously impulsive. Combine this with instant messaging apps and you’ve got a serious recipe for cyber-bullying. Naperville, Illinois teen Trish Prabhu created ReThink, which alerts users when they’ve written a potentially offensive text, email or social media post. Using the ReThink keyboard, kids get a second chance to pause before hitting send. They can then decide to delete, edit or post the message.
Creator: Mercer Henderson
This app might save parents serious money when it comes to their teen’s wardrobe. Mercer Henderson recently created a potential solution to the “I have nothing to wear!” plea. When the 14-year-old realized some of her friends did in fact have much larger wardrobes than others, she created an app where friends can lend, borrow and give away clothes while simultaneously keeping track of who has what. FriendIts allows users to create private networks of friends, ensuring that strangers are omitted from the clothes-swapping and communicating. It even suggests safe exchange locations.
Creator: Ellie Tilford and five fellow Louisville, Kentucky seventh graders
App: Pharm Alarm
Remembering to take your medication is challenging for many, but for people with Alzheimer’s, it can be especially difficult. After watching her mom struggle to help her grandfather remember to take his pills, Tilford decided to develop an app with several middle-school friends. The result is Pharm Alarm, an app that alerts people when it’s time to take medication. If they forget, the app then sends notifications to family members and caregivers.