Rep. Gus Bilirakis has named Aanya Bhandari, Alexandra Unbehagen, and Nia Balieva from Palm Harbor University High School as the winners of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Florida’s 12th District.
When asked what inspired the creation of GreenPrint, the students said, “Our idea for this app was sparked when we observed the level of pollution in our own community, specifically at our schools and beaches. Since we all live in Tampa Bay, it is really important to limit the level of pollution going into our environment as it causes great harm to sea life. We also noticed trash in and around the high school which ruined the nice aesthetic of the school campus which also encouraged us to create this app. Another big factor that contributed to our idea and inspired us to go through with it was the realization that we are the youth of the world and our actions work to pave the way for our future. It is really important to reduce our pollution so that we don’t harm the animals that live in the environments near us as well as keep our environment clean. Additionally, we realized how change starts with the individual which is why it was important to us that we target our app to every single person and educate them on making a change in their own lives in order to make a change in the world. Our app takes small changes to the next level by recording the progress of every customer. This journey documents the changes of the future. We are the change we wish to see in the world and with GreenPrint tracking to change the world.”
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.