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Creighton app contest gives students “amazing learning experience”

Catherine Lucas and Morgan Mcvay (front of the room) present their City Slicker app at Creighton University’s first app competition. 

A mobile app to keep Creighton Bluejays fans informed and a mobile app to help shoppers stay under budget took home the top prizes at a Creighton University app competition on Thursday. The first-time event served as the culmination of a Creighton business school class focused on mobile app development.

“It was a very cool exercise,” said Nick Kreifels, one of the students who, along with Chris Elliott, built an interactive map for exploring fitness centers on Creighton’s campus. “The opportunity to build something that I use every day was exciting and enjoyable, and the kind of challenge that is rare.”

Students formed teams of two and were given three and a half weeks to build a prototype using an app development platform called ApplicationCraft. At the event, 12 teams were given 15 minutes each to show off their prototypes and field questions. The mobile apps created ranged from games and entertainment to fitness programs and shopping assistants.

Cindy Corritore, the class’ instructor, said she was pleased with the students’ performance and initiative.

“For the students, it was an amazing learning experience that would be impossible to replicate in a classroom with lecture,” Corritore (right) said. “They had built something that had value outside of the physical classroom and the class itself, got to demonstrate their hard work to others, and be involved in a real, professional presentation.”

Cody Fricke, a computer science student who attended the event, was impressed with the students’ performance, particularly given their skill level.

“It was very interesting to see how much the students could accomplish with respect to both the time frame and their programming competency,” Fricke said.

Corritore will offer the class again next fall, and she is considering concluding it with the competition, once again.

“It was exciting, high-energy and everyone was very engaged,” Corritore said. “I thought it was a great event on so many levels.”

Michael Wieger and Brandon Chouquette’s Creighton Athletics app earned them the first place prize of an iPad and Morgan Mcvay and Catherine Lucas’s City Slicker app earned them the runner-up prize of a Nexus 7.

Credits: Photos courtesy of Steven Michael Kelly, Creighton University.

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