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App Concept Wins National Award
Ohio State Students Create 'Chip-In'

Though it is still only a proposal, the premise behind an app designed by a group of students at Ohio State University generated a lot of buzz at the 2015 National Conference of the American Planning Association. The students' app, called "Chip-In," was awarded the grand prize in a contest sponsored by the APA and its technology division.

A team of students from Ohio State University won a national competition for a mobile app concept that could ultimately have positive impacts on how landscape and architecture projects are planned, funded and built.

The students, as of last summer, were still trying to line up investors to take their app from merely a proposal to a commercial technological reality.

Jake Boehk, Andrew Bowsher, Ashley Hofmaster, Kalindi Parikh and Lia Yakumithis, students in the Knowlton School of Architecture, were awarded the grand prize in a contest sponsored by the American Planning Association.

"Innovating Planning Apps for Planners: A Student and Emerging Professional Challenge" was organized by the APA's technology division. The APA asked students to submit proposals "for web-based and mobile applications that would help the planning profession and the communities we serve."

The Ohio State team's entry was called "Chip-In," an app that would "connect planners and motivated community members to the funds and volunteers they need to accomplish projects, while keeping the community engaged on social media."

On a blog the Ohio State students maintain, the Chip-In team said, "Community projects such as urban gardens, playgrounds, markets, property maintenance and renovations all foster a sense of ownership among the people who contribute. However, many of the community projects detailed in city plans never get implemented because of a lack of resources or manpower.

"Chip-In is an application that provides an accessible and exciting solution to these problems," the team said, "while also promoting pride in communities and getting residents involved in the implementation phase of the planning process."

The contest winner was announced at the 2015 APA National Conference in Seattle, and "Chip-In" was voted the best of eight proposed apps based on originality, functionality and use, significance to planning, and other criteria.

In addition to the Chip-In blog, the team also has Facebook and Twitter pages that contain information about its efforts to commercially develop the app. As of last summer, the students were contacting investors in the hope of attracting the capital necessary to make Chip-In a marketable technological product.

The Knowlton School of Architecture offers undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture, landscape architecture, and city and regional planning.

Ohio State "Chip-In" website:

National Collegiate Landscape Competition
Roughly 800 horticulture and landscape students from more than 60 schools in the nation will converge upon Mississippi State for the 40th National Collegiate Landscape Competition from March 16-19, 2016.

Students will test their skills in a number of competitive events, and also meet and be interviewed by landscape, lawn care, tree care, irrigation and other company representatives at a Career Fair.

The Landscape Competition has become one of the better recruiting and career building affairs in the landscape industry.

"Everyone will want to be at this year's event because we have a number of surprises and special events planned," said Sabeena Hickman, CAE, chief executive officer of the National Association of Landscape Professionals. "We are really pleased to celebrate the impact that this event has had on so many students who have built careers in the industry."

National Association of Landscape Professionals

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October 15, 2019, 10:34 pm PDT

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