Street Smart Wins Rep. Van Drew’s (NJ-02) 2019 Congressional App Challenge

Rep. Jefferson Van Drew has named four Egg Harbor Township students as the winner of the Congressional App Challenge in New Jersey’s 2nd district. Egg Harbor Township High School’s Vicky Zheng, Julie Chen, Regina Chau and Emily Pang submitted Street Smart, an app that allows users to feel safer walking in unfamiliar territory.

When asked why they were passionate about creating a safety app the students replied, “We decided that we wanted to allow citizens to report crimes that they witness. Learning how to use the Google Maps API, we coded a map onto the app so that a pin will appear every time someone reports a crime.” They hope 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.