Goodie Hack [EDU] Atlanta x March 2016 Recap: Heroes Create Solutions to Improve Math and Reading Skills in Low-Performing K-12 Schools

Goodie Hack [EDU] Atlanta x March 2016 Recap: Heroes Create Solutions to Improve Math and Reading Skills in Low-Performing K-12 Schools

Goodie Hack [EDU] Atlanta x March 2016 Recap: Heroes Create Solutions to Improve Math and Reading Skills in Low-Performing K-12 Schools

Mission Accomplished

During the span of five intense days, everyday heroes and heroines from the Atlanta community assembled  to improve problems in K-12 education among its low-performing schools.  Celebrating Goodie Hack’s 2nd year in building technology with underserved communities, on Wednesday, March 9, Goodie Nation emerged as a new brand and unveiled solutions via “Goodie Hack EDU.” The Atlanta x March 2016 edition of Goodie Hack was an intense and fast-paced 120 hour competitive event held at TechSquare Labs where the best ideas from Goodie Ideation [EDU] were presented to an audience of developers, designers and other non tech-related professionals.   

Additional insights were given at the opening ceremony of Goodie Hack, by Eshe Collins, Atlanta Public Schools (APS) Board Member,  and during the finale by Courtney English, APS Board chair,  regarding the significance of low math and reading skills in low performing schools and the value of Goodie Nation’s heroes helping to develop solutions to solve these issues.

To the Victor Goes the Spoils

Photo Credit: Lynsey Weatherspoon  Shown: "It Makes Cents" Team along with APS Board Chair Courtney English and high school student and competition judge Brenton Nesbitt
Photo Credit: Lynsey Weatherspoon Shown: “It Makes Cents” Team along with APS Board Chair Courtney English and high school student and competition judge Brenton Nesbitt

The competition began with 10 big ideas, simmered down to six prototypes that were presented during semi-finals, and four survived the gauntlet to compete in the final round. Although all are considered winners for their stellar ideas, top performers walked away with a 1st prize of $1,000 and 2nd prize of $500. The ideas (in order of placement in the competition) were as follows:

  1. It Makes Cents: an easy way for students to sell their creative content to teachers – Team: Gayla Robbins (Ideator), Lyndonia-Jane McKenzie (Educator), Lin Perkins (Business Analyst), Marcellus Haynes (Lead Developer), Nathan Adams (Marketing & Web Design), Duane Osborn and Ayanna Kosoko (Front End Developer)
  2. READIt: helps teachers to create and measure culturally relevant reading assignments – Team: Eamon Penland (Ideator), Elan Grossman (Back End Developer) and Sunny Lee (UX/UI Design)
  3. LessonExchange: saves teachers time by allowing them to download the best performing GA standards-based lesson plans – Team: Melissa St. Joy (Ideator), Samuel Lynn, Haroon Qahtan, Paul Trimor
  4. SnapQuiz: a quick way for teachers to increase and measure classroom participation – Team: Milton Walker (Ideator), Michael Chen, Brigitte Collier (Product Manager) and Kwanza Fisher (Teacher & Marketing Professional)

While, there could only be two top winners, all ideas from the entire competition will move forward to the next stage of the Goodie Innovation process. At Goodie Marketing, creatives will work against the clock on branding, messaging, and growth marketing strategies for these prototypes. This brings these heroes one step closer to accomplishing a resolution for improving student academic success in Atlanta. Participants will also be funneled into an ecosystem of resources via Goodie Map.

Pain + Passion = Prize

Photo Credit: Lynsey Weatherspoon Shown: Gayla Robbins presenting with passion @ Goodie Hack EDU Atlanta March 2016
Photo Credit: Lynsey Weatherspoon Shown: Gayla Robbins explaining idea with passion @ Goodie Hack EDU Atlanta March 2016

Overall, it was Gayla’s passion for solving the problem and storytelling of a former student that lead her team to victory while resonating with all judges. Brenton Nesbitt, a student judge, was particularly motivated given that it addressed the how often curriculum lacks cultural relevance to underserved students and fails to provide a perspective of context that students can apply to real-life situations.

Because Gayla and Eamon were so connected to the “user persona” they envisioned facing life’s problems during Goodie Ideation, it’s no surprise that theirs were the top two ideas in the competition. And both teams of superheroes were able to develop a prototype that solves a real need with an opportunity to  make a true impact by coming to the rescue of Atlanta’s youth during a time of turmoil in education.

We want to know: What are your thoughts on the solutions our superheroes have provided? Comment with your thoughts or questions below.  Don’t miss out on the next Goodie Hack coming this Fall and stay turned for Goodie Marketing this Summer, where all prototypes are eligible to move forward! Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram via @GoodieNation or go to GoodieNation.com to stay updated, participate in future events or partake in volunteer opportunities!