Project Toy Exchange wins Rep. Debbie Lesko’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Arizona’s Eighth District

Rep. Debbie Lesko has named Molly Budhiraja, an 11th Grader at Basis Peoria, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Arizona’s Eighth District.

When asked what inspired the creation of Project Toy Exchange, the student said, ”I was inspired to create this app after my last year’s award-winning submission from the Congressional app challenge turned into a 501c(3) nonprofit, conducting lots of work in our community through donation drives and volunteer work led by our Youth. I got this idea while working on the Toy drive for My Wish for My community, in which parents could have the option to not only donate their toys but also have the option to exchange them for different toys for their children.”

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.