App of the Month: SchoolVerse

VerseGroup is the fantastic group that made the SchoolVerse app possible. Daniel Shola-Philips, Malcolm Krolick, Steven Yu, and Paul Evans (listed from left to right) were overjoyed with the positive reactions and are excited for the new features that are to come!

The days of navigating through nearly half a dozen websites daily to find information about things happening on campus are over thanks to seniors Daniel Shola-Philips, Malcolm Krolick, Paul Evans, and Steven Yu, who spent countless days this past summer creating the app SchoolVerse which quickly swept the school this year. 

SchoolVerse is an adaptive and interactive application that draws information from your Schoology account, along with data compiled from FLIK and Veracross, and streamlines all the resources making it all easily accessible with just a few clicks. 

While it may seem simple, doing this took the four boys—better known collectively as VerseGroup—over six months of planning, two months of long coding Facetime calls, and another month of beta testing before SchoolVerse was finally made available to the senior class. 

SchoolVerse was first envisioned last year when the boys were in Comp Sci Teacher Melissa Tranchida’s mobile app development class their junior year. The boys were casually chatting about how difficult it was to access information across the different platforms when they realized they could create an app to solve this problem inspired by their course. 

Once they hatched the idea, the boys decided to take what was merely a conversation and took the initiative to make it come to fruition. As a part of this, they submitted an application for the Hackley Russ Hogg Endowment for Creative Expression grant—a resource made available by two Hackley alumni and trustees to foster a spirit and culture of creativity and innovation in students—and eventually got approved and began shortly after making their vision come true. 

After receiving word they received the grant, the boys started their plan by figuring out how to access the data they needed and what would be the best way to easily input it into the app so that they could produce accounts for any student quickly. While they tried using a variety of different methods, they ended up collaborating with the school to directly export data to allow them to continue the app long-term and to be able to run the app on a massive scale. 

The original plan was for the app to house students’ daily schedules, the homework and materials needed for each class, and breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. While all this exists in the current app, along the way the group thought of other features like sports schedules and events as well as others that are still in the works – like the ability to join clubs to get notifications for meetings, friends to be able to access the schedule of a peer, and a web version to come sometime in one of the future updates.  

However, while all the hard work was happening, another daunting task began to loom: coming up with a name for their app. After lots of debates and consideration, they ultimately agreed on naming the app SchoolVerse as a play on the word “universe” since their app is intended to take all the information and localize it into one ‘universe’ within their app. This is also where the collective name VerseGroup comes from. After this was established they thought up their app logo which is intended to look like a music note mixed with a planet demonstrating the harmony of bringing together all the different components of campus into the app-universe. 

Finally right after winter break, years and years of comp sci classes and training culminated when SchoolVerse was rolled out for seniors on January 10th. 

“I love SchoolVerse! Finding the lunch menu has never been easier and I use it every day,” said senior Kiran Marfatia.

Students use the app often and enjoy the convenience of having everything easily accessible through an app on their home-screen.

“The smooth user-interface and combined ability of every school related application makes SchoolVerse a complete technological game-changer. The creators of SchoolVerse have clearly put their minds together and found a solution to students’ everyday school related technological headaches”

— Tibet Yakut

The app has been revolutionary for students of all grade levels and truly accomplishes the goal the boys set out to do. The app received immediate praise and recognition within the student body and VerseGroup is thrilled to hear that they solved the widespread problem they set out to fix. 

Going forward, the group plans to work on SchoolVerse updates and its future after their graduation for their senior project and are excited for what’s to come.