BY JON CRONIN
Students from Grover Cleveland High School Academy of Information Technology created smart phone apps in their fall semester that aid in the enjoyment and education of those who partake in the splendor of Forest Park’s 500 acres and presented them at a demonstration last week at Oak Ridge in Forest Park.
Students at the high school have been creating apps for over five years, this year Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale) asked them to create apps for the parks in her district.
Grover Cleveland High School technology teacher Andrew Woodbridge has been guiding his students into 21st Century technologies since the school received a grant from Lenovo to build a program that would teach students to create their own smart phone apps.
“Forest Park is over 500 acres with many different attractions, from the Ridgewood Reservoir, to the Bandshell, to the carousel. Whether you have lived in the area for 50 years or just a few months, it’s a tough park to navigate. These different apps will let residents and visitors alike take advantage of all our community has to offer,” Crowley said.
Crowley stated, “New York City’s tech industry is continually growing, and app development is a coveted skill. This program points these students in the right direction for success.”
At Oak Ridge last week, the students present their apps on Forest Park attractions, who’s buried in the cemeteries near the park, birding, a geological tour of the park, taking a walk in the park, racing around the reservoir and navigating the athletic fields.
In November students toured the park and met with the Forest Park Trust, Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society, the Ridgewood Reservoir, the Highland Park Alliance, the Queens Historical Society, the Department of Parks and Recreation and H2O. Local organizations like the Queens Tourism Council and Big Apple Greeter were also involved.
“When Lenovo granted us tablets and asked us to start an app development workshop, Mr. Woodbridge took it to the next level and created a capstone course to our National Academy Foundation Information Technology Program, said Grover Cleveland Principal Denise Vittor. “The student app forum showcased teaching and real world applications. We thank our partners for providing us with opportunities for learning and supporting our program,” she added.
School Chancellor Carmen Farina, who attended the demonstration, stated, “It is wonderful to see a program like this that engages students in STEM learning while teaching them about social studies and civic engagement. I am impressed by the quality of the Grover Cleveland High School students’ apps – especially the birding app, through which students were able to learn about local ecosystems and environments – and I thank Council Member Crowley and the community partners who made this remarkable learning experience possible. I look forward to working with these and other partners on similar projects in Queens and across the City.”
All apps will be available for download in the Google Play Store on Jan. 19.