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App Academy Students Win at Hackathon

Every time you go to the E&W Manager website you are greeted with one of over 150 tips on how to help you save electricity and water from the built in random tip generator.

E&W Manager, the prize-winning entry in the Hack for Pasadena app competition, was developed by a student team from the Pasadena Educational Foundation (PEF) supported App Academy at Pasadena High School.

During a two-day marathon programming session, the team of four App Academy freshmen developed the mobile app to help local residents as part of the inaugural Hack for Pasadena competition on March 15-16, sponsored by Innovate Pasadena.  Their app won the prize for “Most Accessible Implementation of Technology to Reach and Engage the Community,” including   $1,750 check and a meeting with a Silicon Beach venture capital firm to pitch their app for additional funding.

“We wanted to design a mobile web app that could help Pasadena residents easily estimate their energy and water usage, and find available rebates for energy efficient appliances,”said team member Sebastian Ojeda. In addition to the random tip generator, the app includes an energy and water usage calculator and links to Pasadena Water and Power resources showing how consumers can save money.

The youngest team in this all-ages competition, Moises Cuevas (14), Sebastian Ojeda (15), Sevag Satamian (14), and Julian Van Riet (14), all students of Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD), were determined to flex their newfound programming muscle in the service of their community. Just six months into their courses at the App Academy, they had already learned enough to be competitive even against industry professionals.

Random Tip #38
Unplug all electrical devices when not in use to reduce phantom load.

“We couldn’t be more proud of our App Academy students and their accomplishment,” said Erik Dreyer, Director of STEM Programs at the Pasadena Educational Foundation (PEF) that supports and manages the App Academy and PUSD middle school robotics programs. “We are excited to see what they will create in 10th grade, 11th grade, 12th grade, and beyond.”

The App Academy at Pasadena High School is an innovative four-year program where students learn computer science through projects in mobile, web, and game development. The curriculum develops the computer programming skills highly sought by companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

Hack for Pasadena was a two-day team collaboration and competition event held at Pasadena City College (PCC) where developers and designers used open data sets and hands-on problem solving to re-imagine the way the web, software apps, data and technology can shape the future of the city. The event drew over 100 participants from the tech community, including students, technology professionals, community members and city officials to work together to solve complex social problems through technology innovation. Hack for Pasadena was part of CONNECT Weekend: A Weekend for Difference Makers & Disruptors sponsored by Innovate Pasadena.



E&W Manager Utilizes Responsive Design Techniques


Using responsive design techniques learned in their App Academy class, the four student team designed their web application to provide easy reading and navigation across a wide range of devices. The image on the left is how E&W Manager would display through a web browser on a desktop computer and the image on the right shows the same web app display on a mobile phone.

Random Tip #12
When planting trees, place leafy shade trees to
the south and west, and evergreens to the north.