Rep. Paul Tonko has named Nikhil Radosevich from Bethlehem Central Senior High School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in New York’s 20th District.
When asked what inspired the creation of Earth Stripes, the student said, “At the end of June I was working as a camp counselor at a scout camp in the woods, and on our staff day, I was sitting outside checking the weather. I clicked on a link, and a meteorologist popped up talking about climate change, showed the warming stripes, and showed a tie that he had with those warming stripes on it. I was amazed. These stripes clearly showed how the world was warming in a way that made it easy for non-scientists to understand.
I’ve always liked science and technology. I participate in my school’s science bowl and am the leader of our robotics team. After seeing that news article I thought to myself: I know how to code, and I can improve this. So there I sat in my tent at scout camp for seven days dreaming about what I could do. When I finally got home, I ran to my computer and started to test things out. I had no idea that this would even work, but after a lot of time, I was able to produce a website that I am proud of. I spent just under 200 hours on this website and hope it helps people understand climate change, and encourages them to take action.”
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.