App project demonstrated at Lowell’s Civic Day

Lowell Public Schools teacher Gabriella Walsh (left) with her students demonstrating their work on “VAPR,” an app to mitigate teen use of vaping products.

Lowell Public Schools held its annual Civics Day project fair at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center on Monday, April 4, 2022.

There were 54 projects presented—10 from Lowell High School and 44 from the district’s nine middle schools.

In total, 240 students participated, including all of the district’s 8th graders and half of the 11th graders.

Each participating class chose an issue, conducted research and interviews, crafted possible solutions and figured out how to begin advocating for change. In the process they learned how to access and communicate effectively with decision makers at the school, local, and state level and hone important skills they will use throughout their lives.

CS Pathways project teacher Gabriella Walsh, an 8th grade teacher at the Pyne Arts Magnet School, included app design as part of her project’s requirements. Her students chose to address the problem of teen vaping, and developed the VAPR app as part of their work—Vaping Awareness Prevention and Rehabilitation.

The VAPR project won the “Grassroots Change” award. Ms. Walsh and her students will be heading to the Massachusetts Civics Day event in Boston on June 6.

To carry out the district-wide civics work, Lowell Public Schools is partnered with Generation Citizen, a non-profit that works to “transform civics education so that young people are equipped and inspired to exercise their civic power.”

The CS Pathway project is proud of Gabriella Walsh and her students example of integrating computing into their civics action work!