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Teens Motivated to Improve Their World by Inventing Life-Changing New Apps

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Last year, PEOPLE reported on a group of girls from Los Fresnos, Texas, who created an app for a blind classmate to help him navigate the halls. The Resaca Middle School students were one of eight teams that won the Verizon Innovative App Challenge and whose idea went on to be built with help from MIT and the Verizon Foundation.

The App Challenge is an inspiring, yet practical way for kids to overcome problems in the world with a resource they create themselves. Now a handful of middle and high school students are back at it, creating new and exciting app concepts for the 2015 Verizon Challenge. The official Best in Nation winners will be announced on Feb. 4, but we got a look at four impressive entrants who were recently named Best in Region. See the full list of winners here.

In Oak Lawn, Illinois, a team of girls came up with the idea for the “Remember Me” app, a unique and practical tool using facial recognition to help Alzheimer’s patients recognize their loved ones. See them demonstrate how the app will work below.

A team of students from Kennewick, Washington’s Tri-Tech Skills Center High School designed the concept for the “Safe&Sound” app, which provides teens with information on depression as well as tools and resources to help manage their stress. Here, they show how the app will work:

The Edmond, Oklahoma, Memorial High School team’s app idea is called Allergennius. This concept helps users enter their allergy information and scan barcodes of food products to check for health risks.

Finally, the team from Greensburg, Indiana, are developing “StrongX Health Records, an idea that allows users secure access to health records via unique identifiers such as fingerprints, facial recognition, and voice recognition.

The Verizon App Challenge has inspired many of the enterprising teen creators to further study science and technology. A group in the Bronx who were previous Best In Nation winners for their app “Quest Math” have big dreams, and they’re now being featured in a national Verizon ad campaign that launched on Feb.1 in honor of Black History Month. Check it out:

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