Ground-Station wins Rep. Andy Kim’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in New Jersey’s Third District

Rep. Andy Kim has named Sriram Elango from Cinnaminson High School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in New Jersey’s Third District.


When asked what inspired the creation of Ground-Station, the student said, “As a result of technology not being prevalent within my school, as well as my environment underestimating the capabilities of students, I ventured outwards to explore more fields and research areas that I could further work on! In doing so, I was able to begin conducting research at the Institute for Earth Observations, which was developing a cube satellite to provide to schools across New Jersey for students to become more engaged with high-level technology. Due to my own experiences with my school curriculum removing focus on science and engineering, and my passion to pursue STEM topics at a higher level, I was further inspired to aid in the development of the satellite as well as elevating it to a higher level.

Attempting to pursue software development and programming, I initiated and finished the development of a Ground Station software application that is able to connect and control the cube satellite through the application as well as stream all incoming data with high speed. After weeks of work, I was able to successfully troubleshoot all errors and improve efficiency through various refactor phases and conducting asymptotic analysis on every line of code for it to scale as the height of the satellite increased. Additionally, I conducted several stress tests on a variety of data communication protocols in order to ensure both the satellite and the client operated effectively and efficiently with minimal delays, testing the speed at which data was sent by flying the satellite to the legal limit of what drones can fly at.

Through conducting heavy research and programming over 600 lines of code, I was able to disprove those who doubted that students were incapable of doing programming on a grander scale, as well as aid in the mission of enabling students across New Jersey to engage in engineering and scientific activities.”

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.