Rep. Mo Brooks has named Madhushalini Balaji from James Clemens High School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Alabama’s Fifth District.
When asked what inspired the creation of SmartEye, the student said, “I have always had an inspiration to help my community through performing various experiments. My journey started at the very early years of my education. In fourth grade, I performed an experiment on how several drinks affect our teeth and then in later years my projects have become much more intensive. Some of my previous projects include preventing vehicular hyperthermia using nanotechnology, preventing vehicular hyperthermia through the use of an Arduino to send text messages to the parent when there is a motion in the car, predicting heart disease using machine learning, and developing a prosthetic arm controlled by EEG which advanced to ISEF ( International Science and Engineering Fair).”
“Continuing my thirst to help my community, this year I developed an application that aids the visually impaired. I also reached out to professors at UA and UAH who are involved in educational programs for visually Impaired students. I am in the process of getting an appointment with a school, The Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, to gain a better understanding of the use cases and needs to improve my application.”
The 2021 Congressional App Challenge yielded 2,101 fully functioning apps. After eighteen months of disruptions to educational cadences for students everywhere, the Congressional App Challenge came roaring back with 7,174 students registering for this year’s competition. All told, 340 Members of Congress hosted Congressional App Challenges in their districts across 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, D.C.
The Congressional App Challenge is an official 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. Each participating Member of Congress selects a winning app from their district, and each winning team is invited to showcase their winning app to Congress during our annual #HouseOfCode festival. The program is a public-private partnership made possible through funding from Omidyar Network, AWS, theCoderSchool, Facebook, Replit, Accenture, and others.
The 2022 Congressional App Challenge will launch in June of 2022, and eligible students can pre-register for the competition now.