The Dynamite Twisters’ Treesurance App

We were blown away when we heard about the Dynamite Twisters’ Treesurance app, so we asked them to tell us about it. Here’s what they had to say…

You can view their Android app here.

A pamphlet about the Treesurance app can be viewed here.

We, the Dynamite Twisters, created an app called Treesurance for the 2013 Nature’s Fury challenge. We chose to focus on falling trees for our problem. While there is no definite way to prevent falling trees, the risk can be greatly reduced. The purpose of Treesurance is to offer homeowners an easy-to-use way to prevent falling trees. All you do is answer 25 simple questions, and then the app will give you a rating and a recommendation.

We created this app using the MIT app inventor. Our coaches helped us and showed us how to program it, but we did most of the work ourselves. We based the app on an online tutorial about an app which quizzed you on baseball. Using this template, we successfully programmed a working app that asked the questions we created. What was really amazing is that we were able to publish it on the Google Play store so anyone can download it onto an Android device.

The purpose of our app is to help prevent the problem of falling trees by identifying those trees at risk of falling. We have two separate rating scales, one for trees located in the wilderness and one for trees located near people and property. The app also provides the GPS coordinates of your tree. When we were researching for our app, we talked with John Noelle, City of Alexandria arborist, and James Powell, an arborist from the Care of Trees. We learned a lot about trees and what makes them susceptible to falling. The Care of Trees also offered to sponsor us.

Through creating this app, we learned a lot about programming and how apps work. Making this app helped inspire us to learn more about how to program and code. After winning the division 1 Virginia state competition, we were invited to compete at the FLL International Open Championship in Toronto. In preparation for this competition, we rewrote the app using the newly released MIT App Inventor 2.0, which allowed us to improve the look and feel of our app. We recently published version 2.0 of Treesurance on Google Play and look forward to getting feedback from users.

Treesurance can be downloaded and installed to your Android device through the Google Play store at: http://goo.gl/94Uw52

Sincerely,
The Dynamite Twisters

Nikki Bires
Sofie Drexler
Claire Fergusson
Abigail Henshaw
Jessica Lopez
Leslie Lytle

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