Invent Your Own App or Electronic Gadget

This is a final project in the Computer Science and Engineering classes in which students are challenged to invent a new web service, mobile application, or electronic gadget. Their creation could be also a modification of an existing web resource or other piece of equipment. Their innovation should meet the needs of society, community, and individuals.

The instructor will split the class into small ability groups and remind the students that they are responsible for providing explanations of their components, and for understanding the functionality of their innovations. This should not, in other words, be merely a fantastical creation. Students are expected to formulate a hypothesis and provide reasoning based on their knowledge of their curriculum and additional information acquired from the Internet.

Students and teachers are encouraged to submit their innovative ideas to the Journal of Student Science and Technology for review by Cisco Networking Academy experts and possible future publication


  1. Innovation Proposal
  2. Research Notes and Resource List (minimum four sources)
  3. Research and Engineering Project

Here are several links with instructions for authors of Journal articles, a research essay checklist, and a web page detailing online submission to the Journal:

The report will be submitted in three different parts and on three different dates:

  1. Innovation Proposal Due Date
  2. Research Notes and Annotated Resource List Due Date
  3. Research and Engineering Project Due Date

Remember to use your time wisely. Do not leave all the work until the last minute!
Innovation Proposal

Within your group, make a list of websites, apps, smartphones, and other electronic gadgets you consider to be highly interesting and technologically advanced.
Define the social and commercial features that make the items on your list stand out. You may choose an issue related to latest developments in communication technologies that interests you, with final approval from your instructor.

This portion of your research process requires a proposal (~ 200 words) in which you will develop your idea. It is important, at this stage, to begin to develop your research concerning the topic and start to focus it in some direction.

In your proposal, identify:

  • The overall idea – what does your modern software or gadget do?
  • A minimum of three features that you are thinking of implementing
  • The social and economic relevance of your invention. Why is this a good product where the market and society are concerned?
  • An application of your invention

Research Notes and Bibliography

This portion of your research process requires six pages of research notes and a bibliography in proper APA format. One part will not be accepted without the other.

Research Notes

  • Your notes should be organized according to your ideas (write out your full main ideas, not just "Point #1", "Point #2", "Point #3")
  • Under each idea heading, write down information, quotes, statistics, and examples that are relevant to this particular idea. Make sure that each of your entries is documented (with embedded citations) properly so that you can remember where you found the information, and use the source in the future


  • You need a minimum of four sources (maximally two can be Internet sources; online journals and newspapers do not count as Internet sources)
  • Set up your list of your resources in the same format as your Works Cited list (APA style)
  • For more information on how to create bibliographies, Works Cited lists, and embedded citations, please refer to the students' research guide on the library website.

Research and Engineering Project

  • Come with a name for your business or product that could facilitate commercial and social success.

Flowchart the functioning of your device.

  • Create a model or prototype that illustrates the functionality of at least some aspects of your device.
  • Prepare a launch presentation.
  • Prepare a manual with brand, warrantee, performance specs, and application instructions.

Write a Research and Engineering Paper

  • Double-spaced, twelve-pt. font (approximately four to five pages)
  • Five-paragraph essay (three ideas to discuss topic)
  • Cross-referencing: each argument must be referenced by at least one source
  • Reference list: a minimum of four sources, documented properly (APA)
  • Twelve font, double-spaced (to allow space for feedback). Make sure you take proper precautions to avoid spelling and grammar mistakes. Use past tense. Use active voice (e.g., "consumed") rather than passive voice (e.g., "was consumed"). Paginate.
  • Introduction: An introduction leads the reader from the general subject area to the specific research topic that will be dealt with in the paper. It should start with a captivating and relevant topic sentence. Remember, this is the reader's first impression of the paper – you want it to be a good one! The introduction should also state your final thesis and summarize the three arguments you have decided to use. Make sure the arguments are clear and to-the-point.
  • Body: The body of your paper should contain a paragraph (or more) for each of your innovative ideas. Within each, you need to use at least two pieces of evidence to support your arguments. This should be done in proper paragraph structure. Make sure each paragraph starts with an appropriate topic sentence and ends with a proper concluding or connecting sentence.
  • Discussion: A conclusion in which you summarize and analyze your findings.

Submit a research or engineering paper to the Journal of Student Science and Technology.