Character Collision: Intro to Mandarin Wins Rep. Meng’s (NY-06) 2019 Congressional App Challenge

Rep. Grace Meng has named a Bayside student as the winner of the Congressional App Challenge in New York’s 6th district. The Bronx High School of Science’s Victoria Franklin submitted Character Collision: Intro to Mandarin, a 2D game which utilizes Chinese characters as game characters.

When asked why the student was passionate about creating an app that assists in learning Mandarin the students replied, “ I noticed that numerous students find it difficult to think in terms of Mandarin, especially so with grammar. Chinese grammar frequently diverges from English grammar. I made this app to illustrate basic grammatical concepts in Chinese so that students can learn simple Chinese grammar in a fun and intuitive way.” 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.