Local students’ autism app finalist in national contest

Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A group of West Michigan students is among 10 finalists in a national technology competition.

The students from the Kent Career Technical Center’s 3D Animation Program would take home a $150,000 technology package if judges pick them as a winner of the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest.

Their Autism Project app aims to help people with autism navigate social situations. Students worked on the digital design, animation, graphics and game-making used to create the educational game.

“This app was mainly focused to bridge the gap between the conversations that a person with autism does not have,” student Carson Sanchez told 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday. “…There’s a lot of social cues that we don’t pick up on and all types of stuff like that, and it’s meant to be a navigator for that, essentially.”

The Autism Project won a $25,000 prize at the state level in December.

In the national competition, students will present their app in early April to a panel of judges, who will choose three winners.

Votes cast online will decide the Community Choice winner, which comes with a prize of $20,000 in Samsung technology. You can vote once per day through April 2.

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