DETROIT (WWJ) — Four fifth-grade girls from the Detroit Public Schools’ Marcus Garvey Academy earned first place Wednesday afternoon in the Compuware Mobile App Challenge — a competition to design the best app idea for concept development by Compuware.

Called “The Brainy Bunch,” the team proposed Live Better in Detroit — an app that would combine information on recycling, gardening tips and ideas, Detroit real estate listings, information on building a new home in Detroit, and news content. There’s also an “Advice Page” with expert advice on living in Detroit.

The app concept bested presentations from two other finalists — second-place finishers App Kids, who proposed Schools Within Detroit, an app to provide parents with information about different schools in the Detroit Public Schools system, and MGA Inventors, who proposed an app called DPS Sports to provide scores, statistics and schedules on high school sports events within the Detroit Public School League.

Judges said The Brainy Bunch’s app was the most sophisticated one proposed, and would have the most social and economic impact.

Four other teams participated in the preliminary round of the competition but did not advance to the finals.

The finals judging panel was comprised of Mark Bartoski, executive director of the Detroit Public Schools’ data center and network and communications services; Paul Czarnik, Compuware CTO; James Hearn, Marcus Garvey principal; Bob Kennedy, Compuware vice president of strategic services; and WWJ Technology Editor Matt Roush.

Compuware’s Mobility team will be bringing the students’ concept to life through the development of a prototype mobile app that will be unveiled in November. Learn more about the program and see the prototype upon completion at

With the victory, members of The Brainy Bunch also won the right to join Compuware “elves” Champ, Chip, Bloomer and Violet to ride on Compuware’s float in America’s Thanksgiving Parade.

Compuware adopted the Marcus Garvey Academy in 2010 through the DPS BOLD (Business and Organizations Optimizing Learning In Detroit) program. Compuware has worked with the school to implement several learning programs, including tutors, uniform assistance, mentors, Junior Achievement field trips, Madonna University field trips, and more.


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