Saving the Environment wins Rep. David Cicilline’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Rhode Island’s First District

Rep. David Cicilline has named Mason DiNezza and Daniel White from North Smithfield High School as the winners of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Rhode Island’s First District.


When asked what inspired the creation of Saving the Environment, the students said, “The ever rising problem of pollution and climate change inspired us to design this app. We want the game to appeal to children and our peers so that they can learn about the dangers that littering will cause in an entertaining way. A lot of kids don’t have long attention spans to sit in a lecture or read articles on why littering is harming the environment, however, by presenting a game where they can interact with the facts, it may just spark their interest in the subject. We continue to see the ever rising movement to help protect the planet and we want to contribute in some way; even if it is very small.”

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.