Dialexa, a Dallas technology research, design and creation firm, recently opened its doors to our Union Coffee ideaSpark team, giving students an inside look at real-world tech development. Organized by two of the team’s mentors, Dialexa engineers Luke Gordon and Christian Ayala, the event included a demo through Dialexa’s downtown-Dallas workspace and introductions with several engineers on staff. Most impressive was a walk through of the company’s hardware lab and a demo of several drones.
The student team also had the opportunity to impress Dialexa, as well as their families, with 5-minute demos of their mobile app projects. Here’s a summary of the projects, which each started with a relatable, everyday problem that could be solved using software.
Meet Elliott - Connecting teachers to substitutes
“What’s one problem that every school faces? The subs don’t know what to do,” 5th grader Elliott of Dallas starts out his pitch. His solution - a mobile app interface for teachers to share lesson plans and substitutes to plan out their school day. The app is called ‘Teacher Station’ and the benefits would also reach students, who could have a more productive day, as well.
Meet Damian - Making sleep time more peaceful
Damian, a 5th from DeSoto, shared that it’s often hard to get to sleep when irritating sounds, like air conditioners, TVs or dogs, are heard in the background. His mobile app allows users to select from a playlist of peaceful music to drown out the unwanted noise, while setting a timer for the music’s duration.
Meet Fallon, Meredith and MaKayla - Answering the question “What do I wear today?”
The team’s three girls, who range from 4th grade to 9th grade, agreed on one common problem: With the ever changing weather in North Texas, every morning offered the same challenge of deciding what to wear based on the weather. And simply knowing it was 50 degrees outside didn’t offer much help. Each girl took a different approach to the solution in her own mobile app - from pulling external weather information into the app’s back-end system to matching a user’s wardrobe to the temperature and offering options.
We also interviewed the team early in their ideation phase to follow the problem-solving process: