BerriBasket wins Rep. Ro Khanna’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in California’s 17th District.
When asked what inspired the creation of BerriBasket, the students said, ”One of the more unrepresented groups as far as access and knowledge about technology is farmers. While there are outliers of farmer’s with access to advanced equipment, the majority are not technologically advanced. Having this in the back of our minds, members of our group who enjoy going to farmer’s markets on the weekends realized that the only access to getting fresh produce was to go in person, with no service that allows for the ordering and delivery of these same products. With the popularity of the grocery delivery service Instacart, it made sense for our group to create an application that would provide the same category of service as grocery delivery, but with a twist catered towards farmer’s markets and local produce. Upon researching potential competitors, we came to the conclusion that while there are services that deliver products from local farms in certain geographical areas, there was no product that could serve as a platform for any farmer’s market to gain an online presence. The only deciding factor left was to ensure there was a target audience for our application, and according to the USDA government website, as of 2021, there were 8,000 farmer’s markets spread across the U.S. By developing BerriBasket as a self service platform, vendors can onboard themselves without requiring manual intervention (high touch) by our team.”
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.