Girl working on app design

The App Lab Challenge Contest, thanks to Lenovo, allows Club youth from across the country to showcase their coding skills and develop apps to solve community issues.

Youth compete in STEM contest and develop dynamic apps for peers

App artwork

Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Lenovo are excited to name the Tyndall Air Force Base Youth Center, Variety Boys & Girls Club, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Lynchburg as the 2020 winners of an App Lab Challenge Contest. The top three Clubs participating received a $5,000 grant and each youth app developer earned Lenovo products to help encourage their passion for STEM.

The contest challenged youth to solve a real-world problem and encouraged practical use of coding skills through the App Lab Challenge. In November, nearly 100 youth at Clubs nationwide participated in the competition on MyFuture. Each winning app addressed a critical problem or issue in their Club, community or school, and was judged by a Lenovo panel.

Tyndall Youth Center in Panama City, Florida received First Place honors for their top scoring “Wave” app. In the midst of military families’ frequent deployments and transfers, “Wave” allows for military youth to easily connect with each other and cultivate friendships at their Boys & Girls Clubs of America-affiliated Youth Center. The app also provides updates on weather, events and restaurants in their local area.

Since 2017, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Lenovo have partnered together to expand STEM programming in Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide. The partnership enables youth to advance their application coding skills through programming available via MyFuture, Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s premier web platform that enables Club members and Club staff to engage with program content, learn new skills, earn recognition and share media with peers.

Appreciate app artwork

The second-place prize was awarded to the Variety Boys & Girls Club in Los Angeles, California. Youth developed two apps that received high scores - the “Appreciate” app and “Fete” app. “Appreciate” is intended for youth ages 7-17 and focuses on the importance of gratitude and appreciation for the “little things,” like family, food, shelter and Boys & Girls Clubs. Through the app, youth are encouraged to participate in daily gratitude journaling. “Fete” was created for youth of all ages to celebrate special occasions with friends and family virtually and safely from home during the pandemic. The app allows users to customize their virtual parties by invite, theme, color scheme, guest list and more. Users can also chat with other participants and play built-in games and activities during virtual celebrations. 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Lynchburg in Lynchburg, Virginia received third place for “The Tea News for Kids” app. The app helps youth receive news in a fun, safe and unique way that is suitable for kids of all ages. The app allows users to learn about local news, politics, global issues, weather, sports, and entertainment in an easily digestible way. 

Club research shows that a high-quality Club experience enhances positive outcomes for members. The partnership with Lenovo provides kids and teens with self-directed programming that enables them to learn how to build simple computer applications. The programming engages youth to guide their learning process based on what is of most interest to them, while equipping Club staff with the resources to provide these fun, accessible moments over time. 

Boys & Girls Clubs’ commitment to providing STEM programming supports its focus on workforce development and enabling youth to build the necessary skills to be life- and career-ready. In addition to schools and extra-curricular activities, out-of-school time programs like Boys & Girls Clubs serve a critical role in giving youth exposure to diverse career paths and providing opportunities to build future skills, such as coding and application development made possible through the partnership with Lenovo. 

To learn more about our STEM programming, visit the Education programs page.


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