Rep. Peter DeFazio has named a Cornvallis student as the winner of the Congressional App Challenge in Oregon’s 4th district. Crescent Valley High School’s Ajay Sridhar submitted Cautios, an app that utilizes public data from the Oregon State Police Sex Offender Registry Section to alert Oregon citizens of local offenders in their area.
When asked why they were passionate about creating an app that focuses alerting citizens of local sex offenders he replied, “I remember when my sister first joined college, she would always have to walk on and off-campus late at night, going between the libraries and study rooms on campus. Frequently, she did not have anyone to walk with her, which worried my parents and I. I wanted to make a simple tool that she could use to make her feel safe.” 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.