ASK-a-Peer wins Rep. Seth Moulton’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Massachusetts’s Sixth District

Rep. Seth Moulton has named Diem Linh Dang and Evelyn Darling from Phillips Academy as the winners of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Massachusetts’s Sixth District.



When asked what inspired the creation of ASK-a-Peer, the students said, “The past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted a long-standing disconnect between the needs of students and their access to academic support. While many institutions offer self-contained peer tutoring programs led by inspired students and faculty, their ability to give personal assistance to tutees is limited by the finite flexibility of traditional student-teacher and student-student meetings. This commonly results in the use of unreliable or academically dishonest online resources, focusing on giving the answer to problems rather than walking through solutions and ensuring a greater depth of understanding. To remedy this issue, we began to consult groups on campus: Phillips Academy’s science and math departments, Academic Skills Center, and tech offices. Ultimately, we decided to create an online peer tutoring platform that would expand our school community’s access to peer tutoring opportunities.”

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.