Griffin Middle School

Griffin Student Launches Mobile App for Game

Oct 30, 2014

Oliver ShiUsually you think of athletic coaches scouting middle schools for upcoming talent, but in this case, it is tech teachers who are looking at Oliver Shi.

Gerald Page, mobile applications instructor at the Frisco ISD Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center, is already planning to reach out to Shi, an eighth grader at Griffin Middle School, to encourage him to sign up for computer science in high school and also for his mobile app class at the CTE Center.

Shi is a self-taught developer who is in the Gifted and Talented program at Griffin. He shared his summer project with his teacher Alison Melson and Principal Elizabeth Holcomb who were both thrilled to have a student spend his summer in such a productive manner. Griffin is spreading the word about the young entrepreneur and developer.

Shi began to teach himself app development this past summer when Apple released Xcode 6 and a new programming language called Swift.

“At first, I knew nothing about this new language as it was brand new," Shi said. "A few weeks later, I created my first game, Rock-Paper-Scissors.”

Shi says he became addicted to programming. He began to brainstorm ideas for an app that would “enlighten lives.” His recently launched his game entitled Defend the Earth on the App Store on iTunes.

Many Frisco ISD students share Oliver’s enthusiasm for developing mobile apps, but often the time and money associated with releasing apps dissuades them from pursuing it, Page said. Currently, he knows of one CTE student actively developing and releasing apps.

Still, being a self-taught app developer is exciting and FISD computer science teachers want students to pursue this skill.

“I downloaded Oliver's app and played it. What's impressive is that he learned enough on his own to produce it,” Page said, adding that he looks forward to having him in his class at the CTE Center.