Birds of Northwest Montana Wins Rep. Gianforte’s (MT-00) 2019 Congressional App Challenge

Rep. Greg Gianforte has named three Kalispell students as the winner of the Congressional App Challenge in Montana. Kalispell Middle School’s Zoe Wendt, Beatrix Poitra and Anna Bergstedt submitted Birds of Northwest Montana, an app that shows a list of birds with their pictures and names.

When asked why they were passionate about creating an app for identifying birds the students replied, “The Flathead Audubon Society has asked us to fix a problem that they have. They have an out of date CD with bird calls from the Flathead Valley, they were hoping to revamp their app to fit modern times.” 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.