On Saturday, May 21, 14 students and over 30 volunteers gathered for the Lumity 1-Day Innovation Challenge. The event was held at the offices of event sponsor Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), a division of BlueCross BlueShield Illinois. The event’s purpose was to demonstrate how science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills are applied in career settings. Participating students attend Chicago Vocational Career Academy or Corliss High School and are enrolled in STEM-related learning programs.

The student teams were set to work designing a one-screen mobile application, targeted at 8-13 year olds, centered around addressing healthy lifestyles and childhood obesity. Each team had an HCSC graphic designer to help bring their app to life.

Teams were required to complete a project plan focused on the app name, branding elements including logo and app store icon, developing a marketing strategy, and projecting development costs. If time allowed, teams were offered the extra credit opportunity to record a one-minute marketing video to promote why their app was the best choice and how it addressed the project goals. Each team was required to create and give a final presentation that was evaluated by panel of HCSC judges. The winning team selection and award certificates were presented by Steve Betts, HCSC Chief Information Officer.

“The 1-Day Challenge was really meaningful to me because of the way we were able to express our ideas and collaborate with the STEM designers,” said Brian Saintcyr an event participant who attends Chicago Vocational Career Academy. “Also, we actually had an opportunity to make an app. It was truly a wonderful experience for me and I enjoyed every single moment of it.”

The 6-person winning team members were each awarded a 5-week internship at HCSC beginning in July 2016.