Shelby County High School Student Finalists for Alabama Governor’s App Challenge

Billy Fryer shows his gaming app photo

Shelby County High School Senior William Fryer has been named a finalist in Governor Kay Ivey’s App Challenge, taking home the honors in state school board District 3 for grades 9-12.

The Governor’s App Challenge is a statewide, computer programming competition for Alabama students, in grades K–12, with the goal of giving more students the opportunity to gain recognition for their mastery and application of computer programming and design.

“Since establishing my Advisory Council for Computer Science Education last year, we have been hard at work to make my vision of giving every Alabama student a 21st Century education into a reality. I’m encouraging students to become a part of this emerging technology economy,” Governor Ivey said. “This contest allows students from every corner of the state to get creative and build their own app while putting into practice computer science principles they are learning in the classroom.”

Students created an application in a language of their choosing, responded in writing to specific prompts about the application and submitted a video of their application running. Student submissions were judged in three grade spans: Elementary (K-5), Middle School (6-8) and High School (9-12).

Apps were judged at various levels, with only the winning entry in each grade span advancing to the next level. The levels of competition were at the individual school, local school district, and then state school district. The winners from each of the State School Board districts are now qualified to compete for the state championship on April 30 at the Alabama Computer Science Summit in Montgomery, with winners announced at the conclusion of the summit.

Fryer’s app is a baseball game, where the player can have two opposing SEC schools match up against each other. He said he was really surprised when he was announced as a finalist, especially since there were apps submitted by students from much larger high schools.

“This past summer I created my app using the skills I learned in my AP Computer Science Principles class last year,” said Fryer.

“The app is supposed to be an alternative because EA Sports stopped producing NCAA sports games a few years ago,” he continued. “I was excited when I won because I just submitted the app and had no idea how good it was, especially in comparison to some of the apps produced by bigger schools”

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