What if Michelle Obama swiped right on your profile? For Workville member ThinkZone Games, she did swipe right!
It’s no small feat to get praise from the First Lady, win a +$100,000 prize, and care about children, all in one sentence. Let’s see how they did it:
They found the Problem. They solved it. They won.
ThinkZone games won the Reach Higher Career App challenge, which is run by the White House and U.S. Department of Education.
To do this, they identified the problem: How can schools engage kids in curricular programs otherwise overlooked, and which make kids happy and focused?
Next, they developed the solution: Engage students when they are young, use affordable technology, make it fun, and name it something catchy. The result is Hats & Ladders.
Hats & Ladders’ app is designed for middle school students, and based around the now ubiquitous swipe right or left feature. Students swipe to choose self-assessments, connected activities, and mini-challenges. Simply by using the app, students are assessing their interest in the professional world and assessing how education can get them there—all while having fun.
So what’s next for ThinkZone Games? Next up, Hats & Ladders heads to the Code for America Summit, joining government innovators, civic-minded technologists, and entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile, the company’s reach for beta testing increased tremendously. Originally planning to launch in 40 schools, Hats & Ladders is now majorly inundated by e-mails from teachers across the country.
There’s a special kind of personality that makes a winner. Here at Workville, we know first-hand the traits that define ThinkZone Founder & COO, Scott Brewster. His enthusiasm could melt the ice queen from Frozen, and his drive is going to disrupt education. We’re along for the ride, supporting his success like the most devoted soccer parent.