Rep. Donald Beyer has named four Centerville students as the winner of the Congressional App Challenge in Virginia’s 8th district. Sahil Gupta, Sagar Gupta, Autin Mitra and Sumanth Ratna submitted Politirate, an app designed to inform persons in an unbiased way and choose political candidates that closely align with their ideology.
When asked why they were passionate about creating an app that teaches general knowledge of politics the students replied, “We realized that many voters are making uninformed decisions about the politicians they are voting for, so we wanted to create a standard for assessing politicians’ social media presence. We believe that social media is a great indicator of a politician’s ability to communicate their ideas with other politicians and citizens.” 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.