Robert Goddard Montessori’s robotics team members, from left, Daquan Lee, Neerav Ganjoo, coach Gloria Darlington, Kofi Owusu-Mensah, Akash Shetty and Ryan New came up with the Tornado Tek app. (Angie Boampong)

Students at Robert Goddard Montessori School in Seabrook, Maryland, were honored this month for dreaming up an app to help keep families safe during a natural disaster.

Tornado Tek, thought up by a team of five seventh- and eighth-grade students, was named one of 24 regional winners from across the United States in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge.

Gloria Darlington, who coached the team, said the contest entry came from research the kids were doing for the First Lego League “Nature’s Fury” competition. She said the kids had read about deadly tornadoes in the Midwest and wanted to create an app to reduce the panic that often results from such storms.

“What the students decided would be helpful is if [the app] were customized to contact your family,” Darlington said.

The app, which would send a message to family members about where to meet, won the school $5,000 for its science, technology, engineering and math program and for app development training for the team.

— Christina Barron