GoGo Bus: A Route Optimization Solution wins Rep. Scott Fitzgerald’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Wisconsin’s Fifth District

Rep. Scott Fitzgerald has named Akshat Channashetti, Akash Moorching, and Thevindu Perera from Brookfield East High School as the winners of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Wisconsin’s Fifth District.

When asked what inspired the creation of GoGo Bus: A Route Optimization Solution, the students said, “During the COVID 19 Pandemic, our district noticed a shortage of students taking the after-school bus followed by a high turnover of bus drivers. Additionally, buses were required to go through school-assigned routes for ALL student-stops to minimize safety risks, regardless of whether or not they were present. On net, bus drivers had to navigate increasingly complex routes, even when there weren’t many students to transport due to COVID 19. This culminated in a myriad of complications like extended travel times and increased fuel consumption, all while perpetuating negative impacts on the environment. 

COVID 19 and the environment aside, there were many safety concerns when bus drivers deviated from school-mandated routes. Buses couldn’t take sharp left turns, traverse narrow paths, perform U-turns, drop students on the wrong side of the road, or make stops on high-traffic routes.

The issue with the vast number of requirements was obvious. There were no existing mapping or navigation applications that could be used by school districts safely and easily. For example, Google Maps couldn’t derive an optimized route while accounting for the given safety implications.

In brief, the effect that the COVID 19 pandemic had on our district’s bus system in terms of safety, student retention, and the environment inspired us to create GoGo Bus: A Route Optimization Solution.”

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.