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'Lightbulb' App Wins Pearson Coding Contest

A University of Texas Austin student who designed an app that remembers her "Lightbulb" moments has won Pearson's third annual Coding Contest.

Anisha Srivastava won the contest by writing the code for an application programming interface (API) that creates a "lightbulb" moment whenever a concept clicks for a student by either recording a concise summary, a video URL or an article link that clarifies the concept.

Srivastava, who won the $5,000 first-place prize when winners of the competition were announced, was one of 21 semifinalists who presented the APIs they wrote the code for to a group of judges who had told contestants to focus on the goal of producing "a positive, measurable impact on learning" and use Pearson APIs "to identify, collect and utilize data to demonstrate learning outcomes."

"This contest has been a transformational experience in my coding journey," Srivastava said. "Moving forward, I feel much more confident and better equipped to take on bigger development projects and more effective learning ideas."

The $2,500 second-place award went to a team of students from Troy University who used mnemonic devices such as imagery and keywords with ClassMap to create course and subject learning paths that can be used by other students and instructors.

Third place and $1,000 was won by a team from Cornell University who created an essay app that searches for new content on the same page as a writer edits an essay, reducing unnecessary movement from page to page or search engine to search engine.

"I was really impressed with the students' designs, in terms of technology skills and the creativity of ideas," said Emily Reid, one of the judges and education director for Girls Who Code. "I was amazed to see how the students are using their apps to solve important problems in education."

Pearson partnered with Girls Who Code, the Hour of Code and the National Center for Women and Information Technology to encourage more students to participate in the contest.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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