Polynomo wins Rep. James McGovern’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Massachusetts’s Second District

Rep. James McGovern has named William Wu from Shrewsbury High School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Massachusetts’s Second District.


When asked what inspired the creation of Polynomo, the student said, “”I was never a history fanatic. Memorizing the names of ancient kings and what the magna carta was not my idea of fun. 

However, last year, my history teacher challenged me to look at American history and government from different angles. In doing so, he taught me that the United States government has made countless mistakes since its founding but through constant reform has been able to learn from its flaws and improve. Defining moments in American history like labor strikes, women‚ suffrage protests, and the civil rights movement have been successful because of a large call for change. Social activism has always been present throughout all age groups and races. However, the rise in social media is changing the way we advocate for change often for the worse. There are increasing amounts of misinformation that is passed around and is highly unregulated. Oftentimes misinformation intersects with politics and the government and has fueled the rapid division of America and countless other countries. It is increasingly hard to detect and many people have fallen victim to it–even me. 

I created Polynomo to allow people to easily rally together, voice their opinions, and create change in a non-violent and informed manner.

Furthermore, there is this misconception that Congress is the opposite of progress. In reality, legislators are hard at work conjuring new laws and bills every day. Many go unheard of, even those that many would support, and some get passed even though many would not support them. When utilized correctly, governments can create meaningful change and serve the people.

Growing up in this new age, I have seen misinformation tear apart my friends, family members, and community. It is becoming a rapidly growing problem that is affecting the world. I wanted Polynomo to get individuals ranging from teenagers to senior citizens to become interested and involved with the daily happenings of Congress so that they together can pursue social activism, vote responsibly, and combat misinformation.”

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.