SenateTrades wins Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in New York’s 10th District

Rep. Jerrold Nadler has named George McCain from The Lawrenceville School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in New York’s 10th District.


When asked what inspired the creation of SenateTrades, the student said, “I’m very passionate about the intersections between politics and finance, two of my main personal interests. This project was an opportunity for me to combine my background in computer science with those two interests, at the same time serving the American public in a productive and beneficial way.

This website was inspired primarily by the 2020 Insider Trading Scandal. In early 2020, four senators were accused of unloading substantial positions in the stock market after a private briefing that revealed the severity of COVID-19 and the potential of its threat to financial markets. Periodic Transaction Reports show that Kelly Loeffler (R-GA, former), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) all unloaded substantial positions in the stock market prior to the broader market crash. Allegedly, these senators had material, nonpublic information from the hearings that indicated the severity of the impact of COVID-19 on financial markets, and protected their portfolios accordingly.

Watching this unfold in the news, I knew that there was a way to better hold senators accountable. I did some research, and I found that senators’ stock trading is available to the American public on the U.S. Senate online filing depository. If I could access the data in an organized format, I could do data analysis and UI design to create an interactive site for people to see what their senators are buying. In the process, I’d be helping create transparency and accountability for public officers in terms of stock market trading. It hit me then and there, with enough time and effort, I could make something impactful in this area.”

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.