Creativity, Usefulness Shine in Apps Made by High School Girls

Even though the rainy season has arrived in California, the drought and water conservation continues to be top of mind for residents – especially for high school students Tammy, Yen and Rebekah. The three girls watched worsening conditions and were compelled to take action. This summer they developed the AQUAholic app, a fun way to engage users while incorporating educational facts around conservation.

AQUAholic is just one example of an altruistic and useful app that was developed last summer at Adobe as part of the Girls Who Code program. Over the seven-week course at Adobe’s Headquarters in San Jose, California, 20 students from across the country immersed themselves in coding and focused on combining their learned computer science skills with creativity to develop projects that reflected their unique personalities.

Adobe partners with Girls Who Code in an effort to address the industry’s gender gap. While it’s a long term investment, I can’t help but be impressed with the immediate results. The quality of the apps and the innovative thinking behind the projects provided an exciting glimpse into the future of programming and the important role that creativity will play.

With Donna Morris, our SVP, People and Places, student participants show off their certificate of completion at our graduation celebration.

With Donna Morris, our SVP, People and Places, student participants show off their certificate of completion at our graduation celebration.

Spoiled: Did you know that as much as 40% of all U.S. food is thrown away[2]? Tackling this issue head on, Annie, Emily and Yvonne developed Spoiled, an app that allows its users to track purchased products and their expiration date in an effort to help users save money and resources. Given more time, they told me that they would like to continue working on their project and scale it for public use.

Grab N Go: Karina, Kristina, Natalia and Caelin don’t like to wait in line, and they know they’re not the only ones! The girls came up with an app designed for employees to order food in advance, so they can “grab it and go” when they reach the cafeteria. They stated that future iterations could include food recommendations based on what has been eaten previously, and rolling out the app at Adobe and other Fortune 500 companies.

My Virtual Dressing Room: This clever app by Giuliana, Bryanna and Yeabtsega helps users choose outfits, saving a lot of time in their morning rush. After the user uploads images of their clothing and themselves, they can plan outfits to see how different combinations look. The “random outfit generator” randomly generates an outfit for you. The girls say they would charge clothing websites to be featured in their apps. They would also monetize the app with an a premium version that offers unlimited closet options.

Plant Parenthood: Different plants have different needs, explain Fiona, Alison and Veronica, and their app is designed to help you take care of all of them. Plant Parenthood has four main features: maintenance, reminders, a plant log and a photo page. The maintenance pages have care information and reminders, while the plant log allows users to keep track of plants in their garden. They can also follow each plant’s growth through an ‘add photos’ option. The premium version of the app would have photo identification and online shopping.

Room on the Rail: This app by Andrea, Julissa, Minna and Lindsay tells you exactly how many people are on each train car as it’s approaching so you can better judge which one to ride. When carrying a lot of luggage, this would be very handy! Their app uses a microprocessor and distance sensor to detect people walking in and out of the vehicle. Transit companies could purchase this device to provide their customers with a more comfortable experience.

Charley Lewis is a manager on the corporate responsibility team, responsible for Adobe’s community grants, youth coding partnerships and product donations.

Annie, Emily and Yvonne present their project, Spoiled, during our graduation celebration.

Annie, Emily and Yvonne present their project, Spoiled, during our graduation celebration.

[1] http://www.adobe.com/corporate-responsibility/cr-reports.edu.html

[2] http://www.nrdc.org/food/files/wasted-food-ip.pdf

Charley Lewis

Charley Lewis is a manager on the corporate responsibility team, responsible for Adobe’s community grants, youth coding partnerships and product donations.

Charley Lewis