Rep. Colin Allred has named Michael May from L.V. Berkner HS as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Texas’s 32nd District.
When asked what inspired the creation of AidGrader, the student said, “Every time I have an idea for an app/some type of software, there are usually three things that determine whether or not I’m excited about pursuing the idea. Firstly, if it’s already been done hundreds of times and there’s no real demand for it, I lose interest pretty fast. Secondly, I don’t like focusing on projects that are extremely time-intensive, although I would probably make an exception for a novel or fun project. Thirdly, if I have an idea that I genuinely feel adds value to someone in a way that I can understand, and I feel that the idea addresses some unmet need, I tend to get pretty excited about it. Although a financial aid package grader is probably not going to drastically improve anyone’s life, it definitely has the potential to save people time and provide them with insights that they otherwise may have missed out on.”
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.