WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino hosted a pep rally for some of the state’s best and brightest on Tuesday as he kicked off the first “Smart Mobile App Development” competition at the County Center in White Plains.
Hours before the county’s top athlete were set to take center stage at the sectional basketball semifinals, tech-savvy students representing 50 school districts and universities from throughout the tristate area got to be the stars of the show as they stormed onto the court like heroes before a grueling two-month competition.
With the fun behind them, the teams of students will now be tasked with developing a mobile application that will benefit the treatment and management of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Two months from now, Astorino and representatives from Pace University’s Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems will review the students’ apps and determine the top submissions, which will earn scholarships.
“This county has some of the best educated students in the country, and we’re showcasing that brainpower today,” Astorino said. “These apps will literally change peoples’ lives. It’s a representation of what is the best in all of us.”
Before the teams – sporting names like the New Rochelle Cyber Llamas, Ardsley Samurais and Pleasantville Hot Cup of Java – were announced, the Westchester Knicks Dancers and the band Marching Cobras of Westchester performed routines to give the County Center a true pep rally feel.
“These students are going to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to solve a real world problem,” noted Bill McGrath, Pace senior vice president and chief operating officer. “I hope they truly appreciate the experience and gratification of helping others.”
In all, 50 teams from 28 high schools and eight local universities will be dedicating the next eight weeks to developing and designing a mobile app that will make better and easier the lives of patients with Alzheimer's and dementia.
“It’s so encouraging to see how much human potential (is behind me). We all have the potential to change the world, and that’s what this is all about. Using that technology to help our neighbors,” Astorino concluded. “The app bowl is going to be the Super Bowl of android versus Apple.”