Weekly roundup: Students create zombie app, California School Dashboard released, and more

A group of students from the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School district worked on developing smartphone apps, including one about a zombie apocalypse, as part of a new program aimed at helping them boost their skills in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

A graphic that reads, "OC Education Top Stories"The Orange County Register chronicled students’ work in the program in an article that ran earlier this week.

With college students who are pursuing their own STEM fields serving as mentors, students from all six district middle schools developed mobile game apps through AppJam+, an initiative of Dreams for Schools. The latter is a nonprofit that manages a variety of technology-based afterschool programs, according to the Register.

Yorba Linda Middle School students Michael Bakke, Henry Xu, Robert Reyes and Ian Statona helped develop the app Z-POCOLYPS, where users fight off and work to survive a zombie attack.

“I’ve always been interested in coding and computers, and I thought this would be a good way to start,” Bakke said.

Here are other education news items from the week ending Dec. 8.

  • Ninety-three Orange Unified students submitted nearly 100 works of art for the Orange Community Council PTA Reflections Arts Program, which encouraged children to express themselves in various art forms.
  • Newport-Mesa Unified board members approved a modified plan to renovate the fire-damaged gym and locker rooms at Ensign Intermediate School, opting to reduce the number of underutilized showers.
  • A music teacher from the Santa Ana Unified School District was named one of 10 finalists nationwide for the 2018 Grammy Music Educator Award, presented by The Recording Academy and the Grammy Museum.

For more education news from across Orange County, be sure to bookmark newsroom.ocde.us.