Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson has named four Plano students as the winner of the Congressional App Challenge in Texas’s 30th district. Jasper High School’s Vedant Tapiavala, Daniel Bennion, Vinamra Adikehithilu and Rithvik Ganesh submitted Alz Buddy, an app designed to help, entertain, and assist early-stage Alzheimer’s disease patients through a variety of settings.
When asked why they were passionate about creating app that helped people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease the students replied, “Alzheimer’s disease is one of the fastest-growing health problems, and every 65 seconds, someone in the United States develops the disease. As students, we believe we can make an impact in society, big or small, with our idea. Technology is indeed the future, and we need to make sure that we adopt the tools that we use to help, entertain, to assist Alzheimer’s disease patients to be very reflective of these advances.” 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.