Perse Visualizer Wins Rep. Wasserman Schultz’s (FL-23) 2019 Congressional App Challenge

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has named a Weston student as the winner of the Congressional App Challenge in Florida’s 23rd district. American Heritage High School’s Dylan Riffle submitted Perse Visualizer, an app that allows for the 3D modeling of protein structures in the classroom or presentation setting on the fly.

When asked why they were passionate about creating an app that informs people about protein structures the student replied, “Perse Visualizer uses the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics’ (RCSB) API to seamlessly find any protein structure file the user looks up by name or protein ID, by using the simple search bar at the top of the screen.” 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.