Rep. Conor Lamb has named Shreya Rathi and Sejal Verma from South Fayette High School as the winners of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Pennsylvania’s 17th District.
When asked what inspired the creation of FHC, the students said, “Our inspiration for this app originated from being informed, through the news, of hate crimes that took place amid the pandemic against Asians in the United States. As we researched more about the subject, we realized the severity of the topic and lack of information concerning it. Most victim attacks are never properly addressed and brought to light. Moreover, many news corporations refused to publish the information due to the controversy surrounding it; therefore, the public was uninformed and did not know that hate crimes against Asians occurred. Similarly, Asian-Americans who needed to be made aware of the situation were not being provided the necessary knowledge to protect themselves. As a team, we considered if there was a method for us to spread awareness of the subject in addition to giving users a tool to protect themselves. Our conclusion was an app that encompassed features to allow the user to know the location of other attacks and contact the police depending on the circumstances.”
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.