Rep. Van Taylor has named Sarthak Dhawan from Liberty High School and Rudransh Arora from Centennial High School as the winners of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Texas’s Third District.
When asked what inspired the creation of WorkBee, the students said, “By interning at a venture capital firm, we learned that businesses revolve around solving problems. We also came to the actualization that a lot of the successful startups in today’s business ecosystem leverage technology to optimize currently available products and services. For the past five years, we have heard our neighbors voice their concerns about their poor experiences with holiday lights installers. Too often, they respond erratically, miss appointments, and are difficult to communicate with due to a language barrier. The last straw was when we were personally affected. An installer came to our house, charged us for the installation service, and left without completing the job. It was at this moment that we realized that there was a problem at hand that we could solve using our entrepreneurial and coding skills. While keeping in mind our learnings from our private equity internship, we decided to create WorkBee to make the holidays more enjoyable for our community while generating a profit. While designing the app, we took inspiration from Uber and applied the principle of Uberization to the holidays by empowering customers to get what they want when they want it exactly how they want it through our app.”
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.