Bubble Map wins Rep. David Schweikert’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Arizona’s Sixth District

Rep. David Schweikert has named Saketh Reddy of BASIS Scottsdale and Eric Podol of BASIS Scottsdale as the winners of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Arizona’s Sixth District.

When asked what inspired the creation of Bubble Map, the students said, ”After being invited to attend Stanford’s Virtual 2021 Summer Session, where classes heavily emphasized the importance and power of the collaborative brainstorming process (due to the geographic limitations preventing us from ever meeting in person), we were repeatedly introduced to mind mapping. However, when we tried searching for online solutions that would allow us to perform this collaborative exercise together, in real time like Google Docs, we found that the few solutions that existed had outrageous prices for us students.

In our initial planning for Bubble Map, we worked together to brainstorm new solutions that could increase students’ access to this powerful idea generation technique, ironically, by creating a giant mind map on three whiteboards. Because of my experience, Bubble Map’s goal is to make collaborative idea-generation-oriented mind maps available for everyone, especially students, to take advantage of, and empower them to brainstorm new, innovative manners of solving the problems that we as a society face today.

Ultimately, we discovered that by rethinking the way we store our mind maps, opting to update our database only when a bubble of the mind map was added, removed, or updated-completely ignoring cosmetic things like bubble position, we could build a system using affordable technologies that would enable students across the world to work together to create the world’s next solutions to our shared problems as a society.

Inspired by the AI-based code-writing tool, GitHub copilot, which could turn an English text description into ready-to-use code snippets at the click of a button through the power of GPT-3, we wanted to make the power of this AI model available to today’s creative thinkers, not just for a select group of programmers “in the know.”

Overall, Bubble Map is designed to supply students and professionals with new modern and collaborative tools that allow for idea generation in an inspirational and unique way. By bringing artificial intelligence to the public, Bubble Map enables our population to take advantage of the latest, most powerful resources publicly available, maximizing our user’s potential and allowing us to build a better collaborative and creative world.”

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.