The SLED (Shelf Life Expiration Date) Tracking System wins Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Pennsylvania’s Fifth District

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon has named Srilekha Mamidala from Garnet Valley High School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Pennsylvania’s Fifth District.

When asked what inspired the creation of The SLED (Shelf Life Expiration Date) Tracking System, the student said, “I was inspired to do this project because the summer before, I experienced food poisoning from expired milk that I had not checked the date on. This made me very sick for a few days, and I wondered if this was a common occurrence – after all, it was a simple mistake. Luckily, I was able to get better within a few days, but the dangerous bacteria that thrive in our bodies when we ingest spoiled food can cause a variety of symptoms and physical harm to most people. After recovering from my food poisoning, I started to explore if there was anything I could do to prevent it from happening again. There were almost no ways for me to check if my food was spoiled in a compact, organized way, so that I could eat it without getting sick and prevent food waste at the same time. However, I also realized that food waste is a two sided problem: consumers are throwing out food prematurely and becoming sick if they ate it too late. This results in not only heavy economic losses, but also the emission of millions of tons of methane into the environment, worsening the climate crisis the world is already facing, another topic I am very passionate about.”

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.