Rep. Grace Napolitano has named a West Covina student as the winner of the Congressional App Challenge in California’s 32nd district. Walnut High School’s Emma Lin submitted Emergency Communicator, an app that allows school staff and students to communicate with each other in times of emergencies.
When asked why they were passionate about creating an app that emphasizes school safety the student replied, “I was inspired by the Great Shakeout and a project we were doing in my class. The project in my class had something to do with everyone’s safety during an earthquake, so I decided to make my app equally useful in all situations. ” The student hopes to encourage other students to better their communities by using their computer science skills.
Over 10,000 students registered for the 2019 Congressional App Challenge. These students created and submitted 2,177 functioning apps, marking the end of the most successful Congressional App Challenge to date. All told, 304 Members of Congress hosted Congressional App Challenges in their districts across 48 states, Puerto Rico, the Mariana Islands, and Washington, D.C.
The CAC is an initiative of the U.S. House of Representatives, where Members of Congress host contests in their districts for middle school and high school students, encouraging them to learn to code and inspiring them to pursue careers in computer science. The non-profit Internet Education Foundation provides the CAC with supplemental staffing and support. In the five years of the Congressional App Challenge, the program has yielded 1134 App Challenges across 48 states. Thousands of functional apps have been created by over 25,000 students, and participant demographics surpass all industry diversity metrics.