New Mexico for Dummies wins Rep. Yvette Herrell’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in New Mexico’s Second District

Rep. Yvette Herrell has named Andrew To from White Sands School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in New Mexico’s Second District.


When asked what inspired the creation of New Mexico for Dummies, the student said, “At first, I was just interested in the challenge of creating an app, and combined with the fact that I only got into coding when covid-19 occurred, it seemed like a no-brainer for me to participate. But as I started to become more involved with my work as a coder, I realized that I also wanted to express myself in a way that would support my community.  So, I brainstormed ideas that could not only help me grow as a coder but also be a sort of tribute to the strength that New Mexico has shown throughout this global pandemic. I eventually decided to make an app about my state so that more people could understand and appreciate New Mexico, just like how I do.”

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.