Rep. Joe Courtney has named Alexander Lee, an 11th Grader at Pomfret School, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Connecticut’s Second District.
When asked what inspired the creation of Pomket, the student said, ”I was motivated to create Pomket seeing students and even some faculty members feeling embarrassed when they send mass emails to the whole school, especially when the content is not closely related to academics or school-wide events. This was largely the case for when people were selling miscellaneous items such as textbooks or a pair of shoes. School emails are not intended for trading goods within the community and not all the people reading the emails are interested in trading, so I decided to create a digital space for them to communicate and trade freely without so much limitation on what they post. Additionally, I had the intention to spread positive influence across the whole school community, as well as further out to the local community, as Pomket could collaborate with the school Thrift Store, Environmental Club, and Volunteering Club. The philanthropic endeavors these three groups set out to achieve can be supported and expanded through the use of Pomket, as it helps them to settle on a single digital platform to make announcements, significantly increasing the awareness of the actions they are taking, and encouraging participation from our community members.”
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.