Verizon App Challenge is Not a Hackathon but an Innovation Contest for Middle and High School Students

The Verizon Innovative Learning App Challenge allows middle and high school students to design real mobile apps with no coding required.  Not only do participants have a chance to win prizes, the innovation contest promotes teamwork, creative problem solving, and entrepreneurship skills. Unlike a hackathon, there will be weeks to complete the challenge.

What Can You Win?

Teams in the Verizon App Challenge compete at the state, regional, and national level. Best in State winning teams get $5,000 for their school’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) budget and mobile tablets for each team member.


Best in Nation and Fan Favorite winning teams also receive $15,000 for their STEM program plus the chance to collaborate with engineers at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), one of the country’s top private research universities, to code their apps and make them available on the market.

A Great Opportunity for Students Nationwide

The Verizon App Challenge launched in 2012. Since then, nearly 3,500 teams from all 50 states and the District of Columbia have submitted app ideas. The innovation contest has involved more than 24,000 boys and girls in urban, suburban, and rural areas, including many underserved communities. About half the winning students are female.

Key Details

Who can participate?

  • The app challenge is open to both middle school (grades 6–8) and high school (grades 9–12) students attending schools in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. If a student is outside this grade range, the team will be disqualified.
  • Schools or sponsoring nonprofit organizations form teams of 5–7 students per team.
  • Teams must have at least one teacher or employee from the sponsoring school or organization who will serve as team advisor and will register the team(s). Schools/nonprofits may enter more than one team.
  • One team advisor may lead more than one team.
  • Schools, advisors, and students who have competed in previous years may compete again. However, students who were part of Best in Nation winning teams from any previous years are not eligible to participate in this year’s app challenge.

Important dates

  • Registration for the app challenge opens August 1, 2016.
  • The submission deadline is November 18, 2016.
  • Best in State winners will be announced January 9, 2017.
  • Best in Region winners will be announced January 17, 2017.
  • Voting for the Fan Favorite award will take place January 16 through February 14, 2017 (all BIS winners are eligible for Fan Favorite).

Our Future is in Their Hands

At Skild, we love to see interesting ways that engage kids through contests, hackathons, and so on. Their ideas are what will take technology to new levels and power our progress in the future. And whenever companies and organizations come up with ideas for new competitions, our contest management software is here to make the process easier.