Silicon Prairie News

High school freshman launches full-screen web browsing app

Des Moines March 26, 2012 by Amy Engle

We have a second "studentpreneur" story to share in the span of a couple of weeks. On Thursday, the Des Moines Register wrote about Jake Taylor, a 15-year-old who took a mobile app from prototype to profit as part of a class project.

Taylor, a freshman in Earlham, a town of about 1,300 that is 30 miles west of Des Moines, is the creator of FrostFly, a full-screen web browsing app available in the Apple App Store. While it functions like a standard web browser, its icons, such as the back and home buttons, are transparent, giving the user more screen real estate for a website's content. The app costs 99 cents and, according to the Register, has received more than 100 downloads since its March 1 release.

Two teachers, social studies teacher Shane Wheeler and business teacher Mike Rogers, are behind the mobile application building class that yielded Taylor's creation. The Register notes, however, that outside of Taylor's success, the class' first year had its challenges. When it was offered the second semester, its enrollment  dropped from 14 to three students because of a combination of factors that, the Register reports, included unfulfilled graduation requirements and the class's labor-intensive schedule.

"In education, we talk about the future and try to teach for the future," Wheeler told the Register. "But we don’t necessarily give the kids an opportunity to be part of the future, now. I wanted to provide an opportunity for them to feel like they are running their own programming company."

Read the full story on the Des Moines Register: "Earlham teen finds profit in mobile app class project".

To download the app (below), visit the Apple App Store.

Credit: Screenshot of article from the Des Moines Register. Screenshot of app from

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