Rep. Dina Titus has named Dev Saxena from Hyde Park Middle School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Nevada’s First District.
When asked what inspired the creation of WizKid, the student said, “I was inspired to create this app by the drastic effect COVID-19 had on students and education. Last year, students worldwide had to learn from their own home, massively impacting how much they retained. I myself experienced how difficult it was to learn and find motivation in this dramatically different learning environment. Studies actually show that taking a course online can lower a student’s grade percentage by up to 7 percentage points. Thus, I created WizKid to help students learn and retain the information they learned during digital learning and keep up with their current curriculum. Furthermore, I have observed amongst my peers and family that general knowledge, such as which is the longest river in the world, is often lacking due to it not being heavily taught in school. General knowledge is crucial for not only learning more about the world around us, but ensuring that we possess a basic understanding of the universe. General knowledge has also been shown to develop social skills and reasonability, both of which are highly important for success. The lack of general knowledge in daily curriculum is truly disheartening, and thus I took it upon myself to incorporate general knowledge as a part of WizKid to ensure that students still receive the learning they need.”
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.