Rep. Kat Cammack has named Melissa Li of F.W. Buchholz High School, Hailey Lin of F.W. Buchholz High School, Katie He of F.W. Buchholz High School, and Una Kinbarovsky of F.W. Buchholz High School as the winners of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Florida’s Third District.
When asked what inspired the creation of PlanIt, the students said, ”We’re sure that everyone has struggled to find the motivation to stay on task. With TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter, it’s harder than ever to keep focused. We realized that with the effects of social media, more and more students are struggling to complete their coursework while balancing other activities, especially after the pandemic. Students don’t typically use regular planners because there are no incentives to keep track of daily tasks; it takes organization and effort to use a daily agenda. However, now that students are busier than ever, an increasing number of them are forgetting about assignments completely! We want to change that. By making tasks into a fun game, every completed task is rewarded. When creating the app name, we considered a lot of options, including Planly (a reference to other apps like Bitly), Plainer (a pun on the fact that the planner starts out plain), and PlanMe (a reference to the idea that you are planning your events). However, we thought PlanIt was the perfect name to make our app planet-themed.”
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.