What can we do before that late-afternoon appointment? Where should we go for dinner? Does anything happen in Rochester, Minnesota, after 5 p.m.? These are questions often asked (we're guessing) by folks who come to Mayo Clinic from out of town. Lucky for them, three seventh-graders from Kasson-Mantorville Middle School (west of Rochester) have a few ideas they'd like to offer through a mobile app they created called Mayo Freetime.
Rylee Melius, Lydia Mindermann and Andrea Richard showcased their app earlier this month in Minneapolis at Appapalooza, put on by Technovation[MN], an organization that aims to "inspire and enable Minnesota teen girls to dream up, design, code and pitch mobile phone apps." Afterward, Rochester's KTTC-TV reports, they found out they'll be one of 10 all-girl teams from around the globe to compete in the Technovation Challenge finals in San Francisco June 24-25 for a shot at a $10,000 prize to help them take their app to market.
The Mayo Freetime app was created "under the guidance of their mentor, Kris Kendall, who is an IBM employee," KTTC reports. "Our app lets (patients) enter in how much time they have, and then it will give them a whole list of options of things they can do and it will give them directions to those places, and numbers, and biking trails and bus paths," Rylee Melius tells the station. (We may ask them to include options for when you've got about three minutes before deadline.)
A video pitch the teens created includes an injury re-enactment and mock patient testimonials acted out by all three girls. They say they hope their app will help patients "use their time efficiently" and help "take away some of the stress and anxiety patients feel when they come to the Mayo Clinic."
The team, named Furst Class (a nod to their sponsor and Kasson-Mantorville Middle School teacher Sharie Furst), is one of three middle school teams from Minnesota that will compete at the international finals in California, Technovation[MN] writes. There they'll pitch their app to judges Preeti Somal and Tasneem Minadakis from Yahoo! for their shot at the $10,000 grand prize. (They've already sold us.)
For more, you can watch the girls' video pitch here and watch the KAAL-TV story below. Then, share your comments below and share this story with others using the social media tools atop this page.