Little did a senior software engineering student know when he began his college career in Utah that he would later come to Rexburg and design an app for Home Evening groups.
Mauricio Kiyama, developed “Squad App!” a solution to those who struggle with finding activities for weekly family home evening. The app has a wide variety of games users can play with their groups, friends and coworkers.
“(It) is a very simple app with game ideas that are free … (that) everyone could usually play,” Kiyama said. “I think the biggest focus is that it helps them get to know each other in a more friendly environment.”
According to Lds.org, Family Home evening is successful when the actives are made fun and have variety.
An example of a game in the app is Truth or Eat where participants in the squad prepare a number of dishes with odd combinations, like a peanut-butter, ketchup sandwich. The dishes are then laid on the table, and people take turns asking questions. But if the person doesn’t want to answer, they have to eat the selected dish.
Kiyama also included games he learned while living in Brazil that few students at BYU-Idaho have experienced but he said students will enjoy. His hope is by creating this app Home Evening groups will be able to have more fun when they gather together most often on Monday evenings.
“Thinking of things to do where everyone in the group will somewhat enjoy is very hard,” Marshal Kohler a sophomore studying health science. “Usually there is one person that doesn’t like the activity.”
Kiyama discovered his love for programming while working as a student employee project manager in University Relations. He said he enjoyed the job and began doing research on making a career in project management. He said he found that studying software engineering would help him work his way up to a project management position, and it would help him attain hard skills.
“I am challenging myself a lot every day, but I really like it,” Kiyama said.
“Squad App!” is now available for download on the iTunes app store.