De Pere students’ anti-bullying app finalist in Verizon App Challenge

PassItOn app
PassItOn app

DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) – A group of De Pere Middle Schoolers took on the Verizon App Challenge to create an app that would help solve a problem in their community.

Now the team is a finalist.

The group called the App Inventor Team came to together in October.

“Though we narrowed down our idea in the first week or two and then it was kind of four weeks and then when we got our idea it kind of went fast,” said De Pere Middle School Teacher Heather Wright.

The idea quickly became personal for some students.

They’ve been bullied and know some students don’t report bullying in fear of being made fun of.

So the team wanted to find a way for students to report bullying in an easy, secretive manner.

So they created their app called PASSITON.

“You just go into your phone and write what happened and send it,” De Pere 8th Grader Noah Bomberg said. “It won’t be anonymous to the teachers so the teachers will know who sent it.”

The students also want to highlight good behavior. In PASSITON, students can report nice acts by fellow classmates which will turn into e-cash to be spent on rewards.

“We know bullying is in the schools but at the same time it’s important to emphasize the positives that are going on and that’s what this app does,” said Wright.

After being selected a finalist of 1800 other submissions, the students presented their idea to judges via teleconference Monday.

If they win Best in Nation, they’ll get support from MIT to develop the app and $15,000 for their school.

“We think that it can be done,” said Bomberg.

The students will learn if they’re winners by February 15, and they want your help to win the Fan Favorite award by texting PASSITON to 22333 by February 14.