In the Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

May 28, 2015

Wondering What to Do Between Appointments? Ask Some Seventh-Graders, Or Try Their App

By In the Loop

Three seventh-graders from Kasson-Mantorville Middle School have a few ideas they'd like to offer through a mobile app they created called Mayo Freetime. 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.

Tags: Apps, Community, Community Spirit, Innovation, Rochester Campus

This is a great app consideration for patients. I work at Mayo and visit with our patients. It would be great to have kid friendly activities that families with children can sign up for and catch a shuttle from downtown. Not all families that are stuck in town for the weekend can afford taxi fees to go to places like Quarry Hill. Also there was a comment about renting bikes. As part of the DMC development they need to get the SE bike trails completed and let patients know where they can rent a bike or take a walk, and hit the trails to enjoy MN. Not all patients are wheelchair ridden and can and would enjoy the fresh air and activity. Also you can take a wheelchair on the trails too, you wouldnt need to ride a bike. Patients love the Thursday on First maybe those of us who here the needs and wants of the patients should have a board to put in suggestions that we here from patients. They would also like a movie theatre in the downtown area. Keep in mind we have families with kids. Make sure they know what our library has to offer while they are in town for reading material or kid library time they might access. That means DME project needs to remember our library and make sure the city funds them to expand what it can offer.

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