Aspiring technologists blew away the judges in Guppy Tank App Challenge

CA and PENCIL challenged middle school students from New York City to conceive and design apps that would “revolutionize New York”.


Diversity, the skills gap and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) are all expressions you have probably heard, even if you aren’t in the technology industry. Jobs in STEM are expected to grow at a faster rate than any other field in the coming decade and yet current trends indicate a future workforce that is not prepared.

Through the Guppy Tank App Challenge, CA and PENCIL wanted to show students how they can use technology to make a difference in the world and encourage them to pursue educational opportunities and careers in the IT sector.

The Guppy Tank winning team with judges.

On May 18 at the culminating Guppy Tank event, five teams of student finalists presented their apps to a panel of four judges, including Jacki Kelley, COO, Bloomberg Media; Shelley Zalis, Founder, The Female Quotient and The Girls Lounge and CA Technologies executives Adam Elster, President, Global Field Operations and Paul Pedrazzi, General Manager.

The student’s enthusiasm for science and technology really came through their ideas and presentations. The winner of the challenge was Delta Speech from the Talented and Gifted (TAG) School for Young Scholars in East Harlem. The translator app helps with communicating around the world – not just in different languages, but also between the business and non-business world.

Team UniverASL

The other apps covered a broad range of topics, including:

  • Choice Maker App where users input specific scenarios and the software generates logical choices that could be in your best interest to make
  • Educational Tracker App, which aims to help students stay on track with their schoolwork while using their phones
  • Essay Builder App helps users break down the writing process into manageable bite-size pieces, so writers can compose the essay in parts, compile the parts and then share with a global community of other students and writers for peer review, feedback, and improvement
  • UniverASL App, which helps hearing impaired children communicate with those who don’t know how to use sign language.

Guppy Tank Student Finalist Teams 2017

“These kids are truly inspiring, and I have no doubt they have what it takes to ‘swim with the sharks.’ They’re the future of the tech industry, and hopefully, the future leaders of CA Technologies,” said CA’s Adam Elster after the event.

“I was blown away by team Delta Speech. Their translator app was incredibly advanced, made good use of APIs, and the team really thought about future applications of their app in terms of connecting people across the world.”

“By unlocking students’ potential early, companies are investing in their own talent pipelines. We are proud to partner with companies like CA Technologies, who aim to help prepare students and today’s untapped youth – for college, careers and success beyond high school,” said Gregg Betheil, President, PENCIL.

Through partnerships with local organizations like PENCIL, CA hopes to create an encouraging environment for these aspiring technologists and fuel their passion for a future in this industry.

Heidi is a Communications Director at CA. She leads cross-functional programs responsible for digital publishing…


Modern Software Factory Hub

Your source for the tips, tools and insights to power your digital transformation.
Read more >
Low-Code Development: The Latest Killer Tool in the Agile Toolkit?What Are “Irresistible” APIs and Why Does Akamai's Kirsten Hunter Love Them?Persado's Assaf Baciu Is Engineering AI to Understand How You Feel