PORTLAND Some local high school student are now software developers thanks to a new program that gives them access to technology education.

Any good app starts with a great idea and Portland police wanted a way to communicate with residents within neighborhoods.

It was a perfect match for computer science students and the TechStart Education Foundation s Innovation Academy.

Students, 14 in all, from Franklin and Wilson high took on the challenge. Many worked on their own time meeting at coffee shops on weekends to develop the app.

The resulting app helps Police notify residents of say a crime in a specific area or alert neighbors to be on the lookout for unusual activity near them.

For the students the lessons are broad.

It's about logical thinking. It's about preparing organized sets of instructions that you're then going to pass on down the line. It's really a way of thinking and communicating that's really a powerful and empowering thing, said Chris Barlo, a computer science teacher at Wilson High School.

On Saturday, these students will showcase their app before the public and business leaders at Franklin high starting at 2 p.m.

During the summer, the innovation academy teams will work on creating all types of technology solutions and have them ready when school is back in the fall.

The Portland community safety app will be available for download sometime in June.

For the students, it's a lesson in team work and collaboration.

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