Maverick is a free social network that connects young girls with female mentors to express their creativity in a safe space. The social media platform is designed to help preteen and teenage girls engage with both the online content and one another. The freeMaverick Be Real app for iOS is intended to help boost girls’ self-esteem. For example, the app allows users to give one another badges for content but does not reveal how many badges each user has—an attempt to eliminate the tendency to compare and compete. The mobile app is structured around a set of tasks that a user must complete to unlock the next levels. These tasks, which are explained by community influencers in short video clips, include sharing a challenge that the user has overcome. Users can see and comment on one another’s responses to the challenges. Maverick uses community managers to keep inappropriate or unkind content off the site, and users have the ability to flag questionable material. The platform does not run ads, instead relying on a “freemium” model, where users can upgrade to access certain features. Maverick collects the minimum amount of data to create user profiles—name, age, and location; the company does not share any user information with third parties.
Using a visual interface rather than a programming language, Lightwell lets students create real iOS apps that they can share with nearby devices or submit to the Apple App Store. Although Lightwell is a professional tool, students can use the software to create simple apps as they learn the programming language.
Photo Stuff with Ruff gets children exploring their surroundings, finding out what the objects in their world are made of, and learning STEAM skills, such as those related to materials science. The app is based on The Ruff Ruffman Show from PBS KIDS, which models science inquiry skills.