Mobile Political and Technological Engagement
Project Managers: John Paz
The Mobile Political and Technological Engagement (MPTE) project plans to develop a socially interactive mobile application where users can compete about their knowledge of political topics. The application can be pre-loaded with national and major-market political content to start, like: which senate/house seats are up for election this year, which specific issues will be voted on, and trivia relating to current events. The idea is to make a fun, stylish mobile app that can enable users to quickly become familiar with a topic, test their knowledge of political trivia and current events, and even contribute content that’s relevant locally. In addition, one of the goals of this project is to diligently document the application development process and share it, for free, as a contribution to the greater good of common knowledge, which could inspire people to use the code to create their own versions of the app, or simply teach someone a useful skill (mobile app development).
The initial $500 prize would go towards developing a prototype mobile app to present at the summit in North Carolina. The $500 could be used for tools needed to develop the app, or for hiring a technical consultant to assist with development. MPTE would expand to take on several upper-level college students to assist with development in exchange for (perhaps) a modest stipend and school credit. Over a semester the team could advance the prototype, or decide to move the project in a different direction. This has appeal not just for the end-product but also for the experience the team of students will get and the process documentation that will be distributed for free, as will the source code for the mobile app.
Social Sciences + Service Learning + Cooperative Teaching Strategies
Project Managers: Helen Roldan, Jessica Rodriguez, Max do Mato, Nancy Loza, Raiza Velez and Yannel Celestrin
Our idea is to implement service learning and social sciences throughout primary and secondary education. We believe that by combining service learning with an education that promotes learning about ourselves and others (e.g. civics, psychology, sociology), students will have a higher tendency to care about one another. If students care for each other, then they will have a higher chance of being civically engaged because they will want to make a positive difference in each other’s lives. Using a textbook like the West Publisher’s STREET LAW we propose to reference some of the most age appropriate federal, state and local laws that enable young people to be responsible, respectful and resilient members of their community. Mini-simulations of a traffic court, juvenuile justice court, family court allows students and their teachers to actively educate the students and by invitation include their families, neighbors and community to witness how the law works for them.
Our idea will be implemented by meeting with educators and instilling service learning as part of their curriculum. Through the Office for Social Sciences in the Miami Dade County Public School District, Mr. Robert Brazofsky (Director) could authorize a voluntary training program for teachers who want to participate. Voluntary Social Science Faculty at Miami Dade College, like Dr. Danixia Cuevas (JD), Dr. Alex Gancedo (JD) and Dr. Mike Lenaghan (EdD) could design and deliver a mini-training program with help from MDC’s College Training and Development (CT&D) – Dr. Patrick Nellis, Director. Evaluation should be implemented by formative measures and by summative measures.