Introduction to American Politics (POLS Y103) taught by Desmond L. Kemp, American Studies doctoral candidate, were given opportunity to take a creative approach to solving political centered issues using technology. The purpose of this project was for students to explore the role of interest groups. They met with the creator of EMPOWRD, Horace Williams, which is an application that allows lobbyists and politicians in Georgia to engage local citizens.
The students created a prototype for an application for mobile devices using the software, FIGMA. Their prototypes could a be a civic engagement technology that engages American citizens to solve social issues, or a government tool that supports the operations of a governmental unit, or, an educational tool that will teach community members (any age demographic) about the Constitution, American history, or government practices.
Eight groups pitched their prototypes to 5 judges: Dr. Aaron Dusso, associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science, Ejaaz Tate, Music Technology Graduate Student – IUPUI, Jerard Lorick, Change Management Consultant Liberty Mutual, Mya Daelyn, Director of Partner Engagement at Proact Indy, Jessica Rodriguez Hernandez, VP of Community Impact at ProAct Indy. Each judge provided feedback to every team.
The team that walked away with first prize was Connect Indy- Kimberly Blatten, Freshman Political Science major, Aaronda McGowen, Junior Social Work major, Grayson Parsons, Freshman Labor Studies major, Meshach Rose, Junior Social Work major. Connect Indianapolis prototype design is government tool that bridges a gap between Indy’s legislators and citizens. It allows government officials to vote on upcoming policies as would be seen in council meetings and allows the citizens to also vote, rate, and comment on upcoming legislation. The team decided their color and design scheme by using the design of the Indianapolis city map.