Great contest for teen activist/app developers

By Anne Collier

Spread the word to young app developers and code writers at your house or school: has just announced its national “Don’t Just Stand By” Facebook App Developer Competition. Launched at the SxSW conference, the competition “calls on teens 13-17 to create a Facebook app that will help inform and empower potential bystanders of cyberbullying to take action,” says Reach Out’s press release. It sounds like a great challenge for creative code writers like iPhone app developer and high school student Blake Copeland in Texas (see this). The Grand Prize is $2,000 plus five hours of virtual mentorship from an adult programmer, you’ll see on the contest’s Facebook page. The apps have to focus on people 16-24 “who would be potential bystanders to cyberbullying in online spaces,” inspire and empower them to want to make online spaces more positive and safe for everyone, increase understanding of cyberbullying and the role of bystanders, include a specific call to action for potential bystanders, and focus on the positive (not use negative language or images depicting social cruelty, self-harm, or suicide “that could re-traumatize victims”). The contest ends May 25 at 5pm Pacific time. The contest is a project of Inspire USA Foundation (Reach Out’s parent) and the ESA Foundation.

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