Chatter Wins Rep. Fulcher’s (ID-01) 2019 Congressional App Challenge

Rep. Russ Fulcher has named a Meridian student as the winner of the Congressional App Challenge in Idaho’s 1st district. Cole Valley Christian School’s Devin Vander Stelt submitted Chatter, an app which allows users to join and create chat rooms, and privately message all other users in the chat.

When asked why they were passionate about creating an app that allows people to chat online the student replied, “In the digital world companies are constantly collecting data on their users, which in the event that the company is hacked, is then made available to the attackers. I wanted to create an application that was invulnerable to such scenarios and ensured privacy to all its users.” 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.