By Ian Bush

By technology editor Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A program at Temple University that uses maps, apps, and social networks to improve neighborhoods has gotten another infusion of cash.

The grant will give hundreds of high school and college students the chance to help their communities.

The Knight Foundation is pitching in $635,000 for the Temple Urban Apps and Maps Studios.

“The new funding will allow us to work more closely with communities, with residents of the area around Temple’s campus and with folks who are interested in getting involved in starting small businesses,” says Michele Masucci, the senior associate vice provost for research at Temple University.

Masucci says students are trained over the summer in the school’s labs to develop mobile solutions to local problems, all while gaining experience in a growing sector of the economy.

“It’s the idea of being able to involve students in learning skills that can give them advantages to participate in the local workforce, but also to become content creators and innovators,” says Masucci.

Some ideas already born from the program include apps for urban farming and for improving financial skills and health care.

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