Wordy wins Rep. John Rutherford’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Florida’s Fourth District

Rep. John Rutherford has named Thomas Olinger from Allen D. Nease Highschool as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Florida’s Fourth District.


When asked what inspired the creation of Wordy, the student said, “The current, growing complications between language barriers exponentialized as we were forced online and in turn, to interact with a larger group of people. The increase in connections gives us more opportunities to engage in conversations, but the number of misunderstandings has also exponentially increased. A solution needed to be created for this simple yet multiplex problem. Communication is the first step to world peace, productivity, and personal health, leading these all to be affected by language barriers.”

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.