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CNY Tech Gurus Can Enter Competition to Create Phone Apps that Help Society

Nathan Burchfield

  People who create and design phone applications have just about another week to enter the AT&T Central New York Civic App Challenge

AT&T New York President Marissa Shorenstein is looking for things that can help society.

“So it could be anything from using open government data to organize PTA (meetings), or town hall meetings, or for instance (an App) that put all the information about farmers’ markets locally into one centralized area so people could find out which farm they’re getting their food from, where they could to go get them.”

On person who’s already entered is Nathan Burchfield…who’s working on an app that can link teachers with parents.

“My wife is a teacher.  She always does complain that one of the big problems between teachers  and parents is the lack of communication.”

So he’s designing something he calls EduCuse: Connect-a-Class that could be an easy way to let parents know what’s up with their kids.

“As easy as just typing in, “hey, your kid missed class today; he or she might be struggling in the subject matter maybe you can sit him down and study; don’t forget there’s a test tomorrow”, misbehavior, that type of thing.”

The teacher would even know if the parent got the message by text or email.  Burchfield believes these app challenges and group development sessions called hackathons, really help develop the local tech marketplace.  AT&T’s Shorenstein hopes impacts can be even broader than just the tech sector.

“Our customers are local; our teams are local and we very much believe it’s in all our best interests to help our communities grow and continue to sustain so that they can be economically vibrant, because that helps everyone.  We want to ensure that New York survives as a technology and innovation hub.”


Apps submitted to the challenge will be judged on potential impact on Central New York, execution and creativity/novelty. To make the challenge truly Central New York-centric, teams submitting mobile apps must include at least one member that is a current resident of the 12 counties that make up the region

Local partners of the challenge include:  Syracuse University, CenterState CEO, SUNY Oswego, Girls in Tech and Hack Upstate.

App Developers can enter the AT&T Central New York Civic App Challenge up until November 11th…information at

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.