Frazier Dougherty, a Yarmouth High School senior, explains how to design a customized exercise workout with his award-winning app, “Train ME.” YouTube screenshot

Three tech-savvy high school students from Portland, Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth are the winners of the 2021 Maine App Challenge.

Recent Deering High School graduate Aidan Blum Levine, Cape Elizabeth senior Sarah Hagan and Yarmouth High School senior Frazier Dougherty were awarded $6,000, $3,000 and $1,000, respectively, to be placed in their college savings plans.

The contest, just held for the seventh year in a row, is hosted by Tyler Technologies in collaboration with Project Login, a branch of the nonprofit Educate Maine, which connects Mainers to technology-related careers.

Deering High School graduate and soon-to-be MIT freshman Aidan Blum Levine created “Oops! I Forgot!” to help middle schoolers struggling with remote learning to coordinate tasks and schedules. YouTube screenshot

Levine, who said he’s been interested in tech for as long as he can remember, was the first-place winner with his app, “Oops! I Forgot!,” which syncs data from Google Classroom, alarms, calendars and reminders into a single platform to help middle school students stay organized.

Levine said his sister, who is in middle school, had a tough transition to remote learning during the past year.

“Nearly every day she was forgetting important tasks,” he said. “I quickly realized something had to be done.”

Users of his app can see typical Google Classroom features such as completed assignments and those that still need to be done. They can also create tasks such as “clean my room” and set timed alerts to be reminded.

Levine described “Oops! I Forgot!” as “richer in features” than others apps, but he thinks his polished design is what caught the judges’ eyes.

“I find the design aspect of making an app one of the most interesting parts,” he said.

Levine will attend MIT this fall with plans to study materials science as well as computer science to some degree.

Second-place winner Hagan created “The Bookshelf Elf,” also for middle schoolers, to help replace in-person guidance on selecting books at libraries, a service unavailable during the pandemic.

“The Bookshelf Elf” works as a resource for selecting independent reading targeted at user interests. YouTube screenshot

“I worried (that the closing of libraries) would especially impact reluctant readers, making it harder for them to find interesting books,” Hagan said.

Her app includes a database listing of 100 books recommended by National Public Radio, the Book Riot website and maine.gov that have multi-cultural themes and are from a variety of genres. Users can search for books by entering criteria such as “fantasy adventure with a female main character.”

The app is designed to handle a number of errors, so users will be redirected if they misspell a title or author’s name. Users can also recommend a book to add to the database.

Hagan placed second in the competition last year as well, then for her “Physics Phone a Friend” app that helps students learn physics.

In third place was Dougherty with “Train ME,” which provides a high-intensity interval training program that allows users to select pre-designed workouts or design their own. Pre-made workouts are split up into “body weight” and “gym,” the first of which requires no equipment.

Custom workouts allow users to select how long they will be exercising, how long their rest period will be between each exercise, the number of exercises, the number of repetitions and how long before the workout resets.

Dougherty said one convenient feature of “Train ME” is that users don’t have to keep pressing stop and go once they input all of the custom workout information, unlike other apps. Train ME is also better than “other apps that randomly glitch out and show a lot of advertisements,” Dougherty said.

Dougherty said this is his second year entering the competition, after placing in the top five last year but was “more driven with the competition in mind” this year.

Tyler Technologies received 39 contest submissions from across the state. Those who placed in the top 10, according to spokesperson Kristin Welsh, have been guaranteed an internship interview with Tyler Technologies following their college sophomore year.

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