LookingGlass wins Rep. Terri Sewell’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Alabama’s Seventh District

Rep. Terri Sewell has named Nicole Sazonov, an 11th Grader at Alabama School of Fine Arts, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Alabama’s Seventh District.

When asked what inspired the creation of LookingGlass, the student said, ”During my 10th grade English class I realized there were elements to our reading that I never would have picked up if not for my teacher pointing it out. One of the main poems that not only made me realize this, but became one of my favorite poems, is “The Raven”, by Edgar Allen Poe, seen in the video. While brainstorming, I realized that if I were to create such an app, it would not only be applicable to literary texts, but educational ones as well, so I decided to make it into an educational aid tool. Unfortunately, not all students have access to in person learning, and are faced with interpreting both informative and literary texts all on their own. I also felt a very large appreciation for the technology of GPT-3, the text generation AI which this runs on, and felt implementing it more in our daily lives would be beneficial. The first thing I thought of was an educational role, especially during times of such shortage of teachers.”

The Congressional App Challenge smashed previous participation records in 2022. All told, 9,011 students registered for this year’s competition – creating 2,707 fully-functioning apps for 335 Members of Congress across 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and the District of Columbia. This year’s competition set the record for most student registrations, most apps submitted, most apps per district submitted, and most districts receiving over 20 apps. The wildly successful competition continues to impress upon House Members the importance of computer science education and the need to develop a pipeline of diverse, domestic STEM talent.

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, Rise, theCoderSchool, Apple, and others.

The 2023 Congressional App Challenge will launch in June of 2023, and eligible students can pre-register for the competition now.