Shady Side Students Build and Launch New “SSA Student” Mobile App
A team of Shady Side Academy students has developed and launched a new custom mobile app for iOS and Android that helps SSA Senior School students manage and share their class schedules and more. The new app, called SSA Student, was launched to the student body with a Steve Jobs-like presentation at an all-school assembly on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, and received a standing ovation.
Students enter their schedules into the app once and it automatically generates each day's class schedule based on the calendar date and cycle day (the Senior School schedule follows an eight-day rotating cycle). The app automatically adjusts on special schedule days and auto-populates weekly events such as assemblies and advisory group meetings. Perhaps its most popular feature is the ability for students to share their schedules with friends. The app generates a QR code unique to each user that friends can scan into their app. Once friends' schedules are saved in the app, the user’s schedule will automatically note which friends have the same lunch periods and free periods, making it easier to meet up for lunch or to study together. Teachers can enter their teaching schedule into the app and share their own QR code on their teacher web page, so that students who want to meet with the teacher outside of class can scan it to find a common free period. The app also allows users to scan their SSA school ID barcode into the app to use for dining hall purchases. Other features include a digital planner for tracking class assignments, and in-app access to the school’s daily bulletin, lunch menu, campus map, news and more. Download the SSA Student app in the App Store for iOS or the Google Play Store for Android.
The SSA Student app was developed by members of the Senior School Computer Science Club, who began working on the new app last year and finished it up this fall. The club members are:
- President: Senior Henry Friedlander (Pittsburgh-Squirrel Hill)
- Vice President and Lead Android Developer: Senior Fuad Youssef (Pittsburgh-Squirrel Hill)
- Lead iOS Developer: Junior Peter Wang (China)
- iOS Developer: Freshman Nick Zana (Hampton)
- Graphic Designer: Junior Aidan Shilling (Pine)
- Server Developer: Alumnus Tom Scherlis '17 (Pittsburgh-Squirrel Hill)
- Administrative Tool Development: Senior Thomas Jordan (Pine) and alumna Rain Du '17 (China)
The app design is based on an older schedule app called SSA Mobile, built by SSA alumni Collin Mason '11 and David Franklin '11 when they were students. However, the new app was built from the ground up, incorporating the best features of SSA Mobile and adding new features driven by student input, such as schedule sharing.
“Updating the SSA app was a HUGE project, and the students threw themselves into it with passion and intensity,” said SSA President Tom Cangiano. “The final product was the culmination of creative problem-solving at its best. Not only did they survey their peers to understand what kind of features everyone wanted, they then had to write the code for the app to make it happen. And, aside from achieving a new level of functionality, they also did a remarkable job of designing a professional layout with cool graphics.”
Shady Side Academy is a nationally respected private school in Pittsburgh for boys and girls in grades PK-12, with an optional boarding experience in high school. Four age-specific campuses with extraordinary resources, teachers who actively mentor, a forward-thinking curriculum, a diverse and inclusive community, and a legacy of alumni accomplishments all inspire Shady Side students to high achievement in academics, the arts and athletics, and to meaningful ambitions in life. Learn more at www.shadysideacademy.org.