Rep. Lois Frankel has named Zachary Harpaz, an 11th Grader at Pine Crest School, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Florida’s 21st District.
When asked what inspired the creation of FAIK, the student said, ”As a high school student engaged in classroom and hallway discussions, I came to realize that topical debates are quite baseless when the fact base itself is being debated. It is no secret that social media and news sources are littered with everything from highly biased news stories to totally fake news. Trust in the news and media is foundational to a functioning democratic society. I’ve been troubled by the wave of biased and manipulative news, both in my own personal discussions and with the broader societal challenge. This has inspired me to create a solution. AI unlocks the potential to identify bias in media at scale, and a social element opens up the door to launching a movement that will make the fight against fake news fun and challenging.”
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.