NutriFun wins Rep. Neal Dunn’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Florida’s Second District

Rep. Neal Dunn has named Sruthi Sentil and Ananya Mundrathi from James S. Rickards High School as the winners of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Florida’s Second District.

When asked what inspired the creation of NutriFun, the students said, “While brainstorming, we decided that we wanted to create an app that helps people, an app that we would have wanted to use. Together, we realized that we weren’t properly educated on health and nutrition when we were young. We were inspired to create this app because health and nutrition is a pressing matter within the United States, with 19.3% of children in the US classified as obese.

The USDA states that a healthy eating routine is important throughout your life and can have positive effects that add up as time progresses. The best way to tackle this issue is to teach the young about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, so they get a headstart on being strong and healthy later in their life. From there, NutriFun was born. We wanted to create a fun way for kids to enjoy learning about being healthy – something that is crucial to learn at a young age. Especially with today’s youth in a world of technology, app technologies are a great way to convey important information while still maintaining a sense of fun.

Thinking back to what we would have enjoyed as children, we felt that motivating children to get involved in the kitchen would be a great entry point in introducing them to nutrition. However, we knew that this would be a tricky task, given how sensitive some of these topics are. We wanted to shift the narrative of nutrition away from a focus on calorie counting and body image, and more towards enjoying a healthy and happy lifestyle.”

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.