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Students from high schools will be challenged to develop a smartphone app specific to lost or abandoned blue crab trap removal.

The App will be used to track and record derelict traps recovered from the Chesapeake Bay.  

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is pleased to announce the 2019 Crab Trap App Challenge. This challenge provides students the opportunity to apply computer science skills to science concepts as they propose solutions to help solve a perennial problem in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries – derelict and forgotten crab pots ( Offered by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) in partnership with the Office of the Secretary of Education, and the Office of the Secretary of Natural Resources, the Crab Trap App Challenge provides innovative high school students the opportunity to develop a mobile app specific to blue crab trap removal. Students can develop their own app or modify an existing open source app (i.e., Marine Debris Tracker), to create the “Crab Trap App,” that will be used to track and record lost or abandoned traps recovered from the Chesapeake Bay.

The final product must meet, at a minimum, these specific criteria:
1. Auto date and geo tag location and photo of the removed trap
2. Auto-populate user identification information
3. Have the capability to take multiple pictures
4. Compatible with both IOS and Android operating systems
5. Provide a simple drop-down menu for data capture that includes:
A. Number of blue crabs (male, female) dead and alive
B. Number of other animals (type, with photo)
C. Type of crab trap (plain metal wire or plastic coated)
D. Identifying information (buoy number)
E. Ability to enter notes/comments
6. Have the capability to upload the information to Google Pro Map or similar platform.

A panel of experts will review the entries and the top three entries will be selected to present their apps at VIMS. Travel and overnight expenses to present at VIMS will be
provided. The expert panel will make their final determination and award a first, second, and third place to the students and the schools they represent. The top three schools
and the students will be highlighted through regional media outlets, the Virginia Department of Education, the Office of the Secretary of Natural Resources, and the
VIMS social media platforms. Prize money will be awarded to the schools with the top three apps (First Place $1,250, Second Place $750, Third Place $500).

Crab Trap App Challenge Announcement, Registration Open September 3, 2019
Deadline for submitting Apps October 28, 2019
Expert Panel review and selection of top three apps November 4, 2019
Presentation of the top three apps at VIMS mid-November TBD, 2019

Questions regarding the Crab Trap App Challenge can be directed to the Office of
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Science:
Josh Bearman, Science Specialist –
Tim Ellis, Computer Science Specialist – 

Entry form.