Cultive wins Rep. Anna Eshoo’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in California’s 18th District

Rep. Anna Eshoo has named Zeyneb Kaya from Saratoga High School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in California’s 18th District.


When asked what inspired the creation of Cultive, the student said, “Every year, my family and I planted a garden of fruits and vegetables together, and I would watch them blossom. But one year, some of the plants’ leaves were dying, yellow and spotted, we didn’t know what was happening. After digging around on websites and photos, we were able to revive our garden and save them. I realized this was a much larger problem. In many areas, losses due to crop diseases can range up to 50 percent of the potential production, and these discarded plants are impacting food availability around the world. With more knowledge and proper use of protective products, there can be a great change in the agriculture industry, and it has been shown that without such measures, global losses would double each year. A fungal disease, for instance, is handled vastly differently from a viral one. Being able to recognize the circumstances and the best actions to take has a great impact. Especially important in California’s economy, I created Cultive to address this issue of crop health using technology that can change the world.”

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.