On July 1st, 2022, nearly 20 students competitively presented their apps in front of a panel of judges during our annual App Camp. With an overarching theme of “mindfulness,” these students talked about how their app could help people in their community with their mental health. From this competition, three winners from 3 divisions (elementary, middle, and high school) arose, one of those winners being Morgan Smith, a 13-year-old upcoming high school freshman in South Carolina (originally from Iowa), with her app, “Welcome to My Mind.” Outside of App Camp, Morgan enjoys relaxing and watching T.V., and doing miscellaneous research into various STEM fields, including biology, chemistry, and forensic science. During her interview, she said that since she found STEM great in general, she hasn’t developed an interest in a specific field yet.
Morgan has been a Jewel since her days in elementary school. Back then, she attended one of our workshops on website building in Des Moines. According to her, she really enjoyed the program, saying, “It was actually easy, [and] pretty fun to do.” She shared some of this enthusiasm on her first day of App Camp, as she “[couldn’t] wait to get to the app building part.”
When asked about her favorite part of the Camp, Morgan happily replied, “All of it!” citing that everything, from building her app from scratch to learning how to make it operate, contributed to her enjoyment of App Camp. As for the challenges she faced, she mentioned how she had trouble understanding some of the skills and concepts in app building at first. However, when she went to apply what she learned, Morgan caught on quickly.
Now, two weeks after the end of App Camp, Morgan plans to spend the rest of her summer before high school, including going to an engineering and special effects camp. She said that while she’s nervous about high school in general, she is also excited about the programs and clubs available to her and the classes that will help expand her knowledge as a growing person.
When asked if she would attend another Jewels Academy program in the future, she said, “Definitely!”, citing that Jewels Academy“educates me on something completely new.” Morgan also recommends Jewels Academy to any child wanting to explore STEM or try something new: “[JA] opens up a whole new level of hobbies...[it] is a really helpful program, [and] it opens a lot of doors for kids.”
We are excited to provide hybrid programming where Morgan was able to still participate from afar. From her time in Jewels Academy, both past and present, as well as her interview, Morgan has shown herself to be capable of doing great things, someone who has and will continue to be a jewel of Jewels Academy!