PLEASANTON -- A group of Harvest Park Middle School students envision their fellow pupils using their cell phones for things beside just texting and tweeting.
The group, part of Don Murphy's Computer Technology class, developed an idea for "Millennium," a mobile game that requires players to use academic principles to advance levels.
The students' concept earned them a finalist spot in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship's World Series of Innovation competition presented by Microsoft.
The winning students receive prizes from the competition sponsors, including Coca-Cola, JC Penney and others, while the schools receive grants.
The competition required that at least five students work in a team to create a concept in one of six categories, including mobile app design, mobile game design, new franchise idea, sustainable style, innovative beverage or college and career readiness.
Each team developed a marketing pitch, customer profile and 30-second commercial to showcase their product or service.
The "Millennium" group billed its concept as "an educational strategy game where the player uses knowledge and skills to create a strong colony that can survive attacks and move on to the next eras." The game would feature chemistry, engineering, math, geography and other subjects.
The Harvest Park team was not the only East Bay finalist in the nationwide competition.
Lighthouse Community Charter School of Oakland earned a spot in the innovative beverage category for Flava' Squirtz -- an organic, sugar-free companion product to carbonated beverages that would allow consumers to alter their drinks by squirting in one of six fruit flavors.