What Bit Me? wins Rep. Bill Foster’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Illinois’s 11th District

Rep. Bill Foster has named Ryan Cho, Aarna Raghavapudi, Ava Babyar, and Shriya Mallela of Metea Valley High School as the winners of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Illinois’s 11th District.

When asked what inspired the creation of What Bit Me?, the students said, “We were influenced to make our app because of all the types of bug bite infections and diseases we often hear about in developing countries, as well as accidental deaths from late treatment in developed countries. With our app, this spectrum of a problem can be fixed through early diagnosis. Along with this, one of our teammates has a father that used to be a hotel manager, and talked about how hotels would often need to pay tremendous amounts of money if a client supposedly gets bitten by a bed bug. Our app can help proof check if a bug bite really is a bed bug, saving many local businesses from losing lots of money.”

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.