Dog Days Sim wins Rep. Darren Soto’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Florida’s Ninth District

Rep. Darren Soto has named Lynne Nguyen from Lake Nona High School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Florida’s Ninth District.

When asked what inspired the creation of Dog Days Sim, the student said, “A long time ago, I played a game called “Ayiti: The Cost of Life” created by The whole premise was very interesting: you play as a poor family in Haiti and try to survive four years in their rural village. You were responsible for their wellbeing and their education- which meant keeping their finances up (so they could afford food and medicine) while also trying to give the family as much education as possible (which could be expensive!). On top of that- natural disasters and robberies (if you accumulated too much money) could happen at any time, giving the game even more depth and challenge. If both parents died, the game ended prematurely and the game somberly informs you of the childrens’ sad fate. If the family failed to get a good education, the game informs you that they had little prospect of succeeding in their future. Evidently, “The Cost of Life” is an absolutely wonderful game- using ingenious game design and game mechanics to educate the player about the difficulty of living in Haiti and how NGOs can greatly increase the quality of life in rural communities.”

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.