AEGIS wins Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Illinois’s Eighth District

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi has named Riyan Jain from Margaret Mead Junior High School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Illinois’s Eighth District.


When asked what inspired the creation of AEGIS, the student said, “Like many kids in our school district and around the globe, I was a virtual student for the last 18 months and was so excited to return to in-person school this year. However, as the school started this year, COVID-19’s delta variant also began spreading in IL forcing thousands of students to quarantine due to suspected exposure. I also read a news article about COVID-19 outbreaks in IL schools, and noticed most school districts rely on self-reporting of COVID-19 symptoms as a primary tool to contain the spread of the disease. This wasn’t good enough and put not just the students, many of them unvaccinated due to their young ages, but also the school administration and teachers at risk of contracting the virus.

I quickly realized the application should be able to check the most common symptom, i.e. temperature, but do that in an automated and non-intrusive manner. As a result I created a device with low cost material (total cost below $100) that’s connected with an app through APIs and can remotely measure the temperature of anyone entering a school and can alert authorities in appropriate situations.  As a result, I hope we as a community are better equipped to control the spread of virus in some of the most vulnerable settings, and students be able to enjoy school without worrying about contracting the virus from each other. Moreover, fewer students in quarantine is good for their learning, and easier on working parents, many of whom cannot afford to be with their child at home during a work-week. My humble attempt with this solution is to help my school, my community and beyond return to the pre-pandemic level of normalcy, as soon as possible.”

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.