Teacher's app-development project wins award

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WALLA WALLA — A Pioneer Middle School teacher’s plan to help students develop mobile applications has won a grant and award from insurer ING.

Daniel Calzaretta’s “iCreate: App Incubator Project,” was one of two winning programs from Washington and 100 nationwide in the ING Unsung Heroes program.

The program received a $2,000 grant. According to a news release, the incubator project is designed to tap into students’ interest in technology, taking students through the entire process of creating applications including app design, testing, refining and marketing.

One of the objectives of the program is to increase access to technology and to help bridge the “digital divide” because many of the students do not have technology available at home, according to the release.

Community service will also be encouraged through a “student technology team” that will teach technology skills to others in the school and community including teaching senior citizens how to use mobile devices such as the iPad.

Sales of the apps will help the program become self-sustaining, according to the release.

The project also qualifies for consideration for one of ING’s top three prizes — an additional $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000.

The 2012 ING Unsung Heroes winners were selected from a group of more than 1,300 applications. To learn more about this year’s winning projects, as well as those from previous years, go to unsungheroes.com.

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