Rep. David Trone has named Alexander Choi from Winston Churchill High School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Maryland’s Sixth District.
When asked what inspired the creation of VaxTrax, the student said, “As school was returning back into in-person learning at the end of the 2020 – 2021 school year, a classmate in my AP Biology class expressed her concerns about the rising cases in Covid-19. In addition, I noticed an increasing spike in Covid-19 cases in Maryland. Inspired by my classmate and the rising Covid-19 cases, I took on the initiative to build VaxTrax as a way to bring awareness to my community. Using some scrap paper and a whiteboard, I began to formulate a rough foundation for the app, drawing out ideas and certain methods to utilize. I knew building this app would be my biggest coding project, but I was determined to serve my community and my classmates.”
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.