Midland high school students win congressional award for app

These four Midland High School students received an award from Congressman John Moolenaar on Monday. (Photo: WEYI/WSMH)

There is a new app and it's getting a lot of attention.

Four seniors at Midland High School received an award this week from Representative John Moolenaar.

Concern about sexual assault on college campuses led Midland High seniors Gwynne Ozkan, Emma Jamrog, Preston Millward and Gerard Bringard to develop an app aimed at keeping students safe.

In the app, campus security would designate safe zones - for example, a library or dorms.

Students turn the app on when they leave safe zones and enter a danger zone, such as while walking alone at night.

If students don't turn the app off when they reach a safe zone, the app alerts campus security of the student's location, and security can call the student to check on him or her.

"We achieved our goal of what we want to do which is increase safety on college campuses, because we saw that as a really pertinent issue," said Ozkan.

"I'd also really like to have it make a difference in the world," said Preston Millward, who also worked on the app project.

Millward used his passion for learning computer code to create the app itself.

They entered their idea in the Congressional App Challenge, a nationwide competition aimed at getting kids excited about computer science and writing code.

"The gratification we had when we received an actual award from our congressman really helped to show our hard work actually paying off," explained Ozkan.

"Most of the letters I get from colleges the signatures are all digital and not actual signatures, but from John Moolenaar I could tell it was an actual signature from him and that was really cool," explained Millward.

The students plan to apply for two additional competitions and they hope to have the app available on both Android and Apple phones by spring of 2018.

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