SleepEZ Wins Rep. Joyce’s (PA-13) 2019 Congressional App Challenge

Rep. John Joyce has named a Duncansville student as the winner of the Congressional App Challenge in Pennsylvania’s 13th district. Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School’s Derek Kaplan submitted SleepEZ, an app designed to help people sleep more easily.

When asked why the student was passionate about creating a sleeping app the student replied, “Despite being exhausted, at times my mind can’t quiet down and let me fall asleep.  When I read about sleep issues, I realized this problem is not uncommon. During my research into this, I also learned that some sounds, such as rain and classical music, have been shown to help people to relax so they can fall asleep more easily. ” 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.