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Tyler Technologies' Maine App Challenge

 

Immersive Scholarship Opportunities for Students in Maine

Did you know that fewer than half of the schools in the United States offer computer science classes? This limits the number of students that ultimately go on to study Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) topics in college, and then later impacts the pool of technical talent available to employers.

As a top technology company in the state of Maine, Tyler Technologies aims to turn these numbers around by creating unique opportunities for Maine students to interact with STEAM. We do this in part through the Maine App Challenge, our annual scholarship competition that provides students in Maine with the opportunity to win college scholarships totaling $10,000 for developing a mobile application and a video to showcase its design.

To date, we’ve awarded more than $70,000 in scholarship money and other valuable prizes. Our hope is that we can encourage high school students in Maine to engage early in STEAM activities so that they will be prepared for the highly technical jobs that will be available in the future. But, we know that not all students are drawn to technology careers; some are interested in other aspects of the business world – creativity, finance, collaboration, strategy, leadership, and more.

Junior Achievement of Maine’s Titan Challenge offers scholarships to students for a similarly immersive experience in business – where teams of three students work to guide a fledgling company through the ups and downs of the market. Immersive programs such as these mean that students may experience future work opportunities firsthand so they can determine what roles and areas of study engage them most.

Embracing the Future of Work Through Innovation

Building an app and building a business are both attainable goals that encourage students to evaluate alternatives, make decisions, analyze the outcomes of those decisions, and then strategize what to do next. They encourage the practical implementation of ideas that result in new – or improved – goods and services. Simply put, both programs encourage innovation.

According to a report from McKinsey & Company, innovation is critical to corporate growth. However, only six percent of executives are satisfied with their employees’ innovation performance. To address this issue, and to offer Maine students the opportunity to hone their innovation skills, the University of Maine’s Foster Center for Innovation has joined forces with Tyler to offer students the opportunity to participate in a series of free virtual innovation workshops.

The workshops, developed by professors at the University of Maine, are the first step to earning a micro-credential in innovation. An innovation micro-credential can help students develop the skills they need to excel in the workplace and beyond. It is issued digitally and designed to be shared on social media and professional sites such as LinkedIn or a resume.

Students participating in Junior Achievement of Maine’s Titan Challenge, or the Maine App Challenge, are encouraged to sign up for one or more of the upcoming innovation workshops in December. The lineup covers everything from brainstorming and market research to prototyping and optimizing the functionality of your projects. There’s even an innovation workshop on how to pitch your project to potential users, partners, or investors!

Let’s work together to ensure students in Maine have a solid foundation in innovation, business, and technology as they look forward to the future work opportunities that will be available in the state.

For more information about the Maine App Challenge, including how students may submit a mobile app, please contact MACT@tylertech.com.

 

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