Hiker Hunt wins Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Washington, D.C.’s At-Large District

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton has named Zoe Goldman, a 12th Grader at Jackson Reed High School, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Washington, D.C.’s At-Large District.

When asked what inspired the creation of Hiker Hunt, the student said, ”While explaining to my friends and parents why I want to take a gap year between high school and college, I most eagerly described how much I wanted to travel and hike some of the world’s most beautiful sites and landmarks, like Machu Picchu. I justified wanting to travel and hike by describing how once college and the rest of my life start up again, it will become increasingly difficult to simply take time off, especially when a family and kids become part of the equation. More difficult than taking kids on challenging hikes is getting them interested in the first place. Before they can appreciate the beauty that nature’s resources have to offer, some kids often find hiking boring, thinking of it as a long, difficult, semi-pointless walk. I then realized I could create an app to solve that problem. Knowing that kids love completing tasks to earn rewards, I created Hiker Hunt to give kids a scavenger hunt along their hike where they earn points for the various items they find. Not only can kids compete with themselves and try to check off every item, but it could also be an inter-family competition where siblings are each looking for items and trying to get more points than the other. ”



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.