WSU’s TRIO programs and T3 have shared a strong partnership through many years and many projects. When Upward Bound Empowerment and Upward Bound Wichita Prep programs asked if T3 would support their summer programming with an instructional “How to build an app” class, we were more than happy to dive right in. During the month of June, T3’s Fennie Christensen, took the lead role and worked with 15-20 High School students enrolled in Upward Bound’s Summer Camp to learn how to build a mobile app. Creating a fun, interactive and rich learning environment, Fennie provided instruction to the class that covered the following objectives:
- Have an understanding of the basic knowledge of “what is a mobile app”
- Have an understanding of the start-to-finish steps on “how to create a mobile app”
- Be able to create a mock mobile app on a topic of their choice
- Present their mobile app to the class
Lecture and Discussion
The first session provided a basic outline of what a mobile app is and what apps the students use. They explored what they liked and didn’t like about these apps. They discussed things that would make these apps better. They generated an exciting vibe, tossing ideas around that set the stage for the next phase of the class.
The second session involved a Q & A session with a panel of tech experts, including:
- T3’s software engineers
- Grad student in an applied learning position with T3
- Industry professional previously employed by T3
The students asked question after question and got a good sense of what it’s like to work in the technology industry.
The next phase of the class was the hands-on part of the students’ learning. The students worked in teams in a lab setting on the WSU campus that provided plenty of room to move around to get a good, collaborative energy going. The teams had to come up with an idea for an app and work through all phases of development including:
- purpose and the impact of app
- identification of audience for app
- user journey to map the workflow of the app
- develop user interface (UI) wireframes
On the last day of the class the students presented their mobile apps which communicated their understanding of the class objectives and included the elevator pitch for their app idea. Each team stood in front of a packed room that included their peers, their program leaders and director, T3 staff, and WSU industry leadership, including:
- Dr. Khawaja Saeed, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in Business, Barton School of Business
- Mark Torline, Director of WSU Ventures
- Tom Aldag, Director of Research and Development with NIAR
- Dr. Jeremy Patterson, Dean of Institute of Innovation
- Doug Stucky, Faculty of the Masters of Innovation and Design Program (MID)
- Carlos Solorzano, Student of the MID Program
- Max Hinman, Student of the MID Program
- Jared Goering, Student of the MID Program
- Rhonda Hicks, Director of TRIO Upward Bound Empowerment and Wichita Prep
- Shauntelle Thompson, Assistant Director of TRIO Upward Bound Empowerment
- Travis Feeney, Assistant Director of TRIO Upward Bound Wichita Prep
The students work ethic and desire to make a difference was very inspiring. Through the course of the 8 session class, they showed a willingness to learn, a commitment to task completion and respect for their work, their peers, and their peers’ work.
Fennie, a WSU alum and designer for T3 since 2006, appreciates the role that TRIO played in her life as a college student:
Upward Bound Wichita Prep and Upward Bound Empowerment programs celebrated the success of their students at the 2019 Award Banquet on July 3rd. The celebration was held at Marcus Welcome Center on the Wichita State University Campus. It was an event of recognition for the students’ hard work and successful completion of the summer program. Staff, volunteers, instructors and administrators were also recognized for their participation and diligence in serving as navigators for all students.
Ms. Deltha Q. Colvin, WSU Associate VP of Special Programs, reminded all of the impact of TRIO and Upward Bound resources for the nation, the state, the local community and most important to all under-served students. It was a day to celebrate for all.