Patriots games: PHS club releases latest mobile app
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 12:23

In the APPlied Club’s new game, Hall Sweep, players must navigate the halls while avoiding obstacles like bullies.

APPlied Club creates ‘Hall Sweep’ game

by Nicole Rodman

    Proudly wearing shirts proclaiming “I make apps”, students in Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts’ APPlied Club launched their newest mobile application (app) last Friday.
    The students, as well as their advisors Shawn and Stephanie Grimes, gathered in the library to show off their latest app for iPhone and Android.
    Called Hall Sweep, the new game is the third app created by the APPlied Club.
    First formed in October 2011, the APPlied Club is the brainchild of Patapsco graduates Shawn and Stephanie Grimes.
    Following their graduation in 1998, Shawn and Stephanie formed their own app-making companies, Shawn’s Bits and Campfire Apps.   
    Wanting to give something back to their alma mater, Shawn and Stephanie approached principal Ryan Imbriale with the idea to start an app-making club.
    The club’s first app, PHS Connect, was released last March. The app features school schedules, a calendar and a news feed.
    Hall Sweep is the APPlied Club’s third app and second game.
    According to APPlied Club members, work on the game began last October and took about four months to complete.
    Featuring the Patapsco Patriot mascot, the game tasks players with trying to make their way down the school hall running into bullies, teachers or other obstacles.
    By collecting coins, the player can earn hall passes which give them extra lives.
    In addition to the Patriot, the game features cameos by recognizable school figures such as the Patapsco school resource officer and principal Imbriale.
    According to Shawn and Stephanie, the APPlied Club is fun for students, but it teaches them valuable skills as well.
    During the process of app creation, students learn to come up with an idea, sketch concept art and code their vision into life.
    Through trial and error, students work together to produce a final product.
    By learning these skills now, students will be well-prepared for a career in the ever-growing technology field.
    For the members of the APPlied Club, learning to create an app was intimidating at first but became easier as time went on.
    Students need no prior experience with coding or apps to join the club. Most members came in with no prior knowledge at all.
    “Anybody can join APPlied Club, because I came in blind and I enjoyed it,” senior Allison McGuire said last Friday.
    Other students explained that their experiences with the club have not only increased their interest in technology, but taught them new skills, teamwork and even confidence.
    For most of the members, the best part of APPlied Club is the feeling of accomplishment upon creating a new app.
    “Seeing the game work feels good right away,” student Matt Cole said.
    Now that Hall Sweep is completed, APPlied Club will soon begin brainstorming their next app.
    In the meantime, Shawn and Stephanie will present their ideas to the Maryland Society for Educational Technology at their annual conference in April.
    In addition to the conference, Shawn and Stephanie are spreading the word of APPlied Club across the county.
    Since its inception at Patapsco, APPlied Clubs have been introduced in schools across Baltimore County.
    Shawn and Stephanie even shared their ideas with a teacher in Spain hoping to start a similar club in her school.
    While APPlied Clubs continue to spread, the original club at Patapsco is enjoying the fruits of their latest efforts.
    Hall Sweep is now available in the Apple iTunes by searching Hall Sweep.
    Likewise, the game is also available on Android by searching Hall Sweep in the Google Play store.
    For more  information  on Campfire Apps, visit www.campfireapps.com.