Denmark Technical College recently held its third annual App Challenge Expo, a technology competition open to students and the public designed to encourage residents of rural South Carolina to learn how to code, create and to pursue information technology careers. The expo is produced by Denmark Tech’s innovation team, led by Dr. A. Clifton Myles, as a part of their participation in Tennessee State University’s HBCUC2 program.

“This is our third production of the App Challenge Expo, one of our HBCUC2 signature events, and every time I’m blown away by the fresh, innovative ideas our students come up with. This year’s App Challenge Expo has produced the best crop of conceptualized apps yet. It’s refreshing to see our students taking the knowledge they are gaining in class and seeing how they can apply to real world challenges,” said Danny Swilley, Ph.D., Denmark Technical College dean of business, computers, related technologies and public services.

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Contestants had the opportunity to participate in pre-challenge workshops led by industry professionals where they can learn basic skills and flesh out their ideas. Contestants are then asked to conceptualize an app that tackles a challenge they have in their daily life and to present a framework for how the app would operate. This year’s competition saw ten contestants present app ideas on a wide range of topics, including recipe sharing, rural shopping challenges and car care.

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The expo opened with a welcome from Willie L. Todd Jr., Ph.D., president and CEO of Denmark Technical College, followed by student presentations. Breakout technology sessions featured presentations on social engineering, password protection and MacBook skill development. Dr. Leon Geter of Benedict College served as keynote speaker, discussing the ever-changing landscape of cybersecurity with participants.

The competition closed out with a recognition ceremony, awarding first place to Jadon Roundtree for his work on a grade tracking app. Second place was awarded to Russell Joseph for his culinary app and third place went to Isaiah Williams for his app designed around pet procurement.

Dr. Danny Swilley and Dr. A. Clifton Myles pose with first place winner Jadon Roundtree.

“The initial idea for the app came to me after thinking about what school related challenges I have. Conceptualizing and presenting on the app was a lot of fun and I was thrilled to learn that I had taken home the first place prize,” said Roundtree.

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