Rep. David Joyce has named Mohammad Zoraiz from Mayfield High School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Ohio’s 14th District.
When asked what inspired the creation of AchillesMath, the student said, “Over the summer, I was reading a news report by the New York Times exploring the decline in academic proficiency over the past year and a half due to the COVID pandemic and online learning, but what struck me was the statistics regarding the fall in Mathematical proficiency across the board. After doing even more research regarding my community and Ohio as a whole, the results were astonishing. According to the Ohio Department of Education, there was an overall 14.7% decrease in proficiency from Pre-Covid to the 2020-21 School Year, and most grade levels from 5-8 having between a 14.9% to 16.26% difference in proficiency. Additionally, with some more research, I realized that this proficiency drop hit disadvantaged communities the hardest, often those without strong internet connections. I knew I could do something that could positively impact my community and throughout my nation by using my skills to create a new app that would teach children the skills they missed the most on in these State Tests, as well as bring students to a level of satisfactory proficiency in key Math concepts. Moreover, I know that there are quite a few other Math teaching apps out there, but I have always heard complaints from my little sisters, neighbors, kids I have tutored, and many more people.”
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.