Robauto wins Rep. Bryan Steil’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Wisconsin’s First District

Rep. Bryan Steil has named Charlie Smitsdorff and Tyler Balota from Greendale High School as the winners of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Wisconsin’s First District.



When asked what inspired the creation of Robauto, the students said, “Around the time we thought of the idea, we were playing a lot of Civilization 6 and Autonauts. We thought to combine the two, but we needed a way to win the game. Charlie thought of the great idea to use proximity scoring, where building scores depend on what buildings are near it instead of being a set value. This increases the strategic aspect of the game and also adds to its depth.”

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.