Sentimental wins Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Georgia’s Seventh District

Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux has named Varun Iyengar, a 12th Grader at Paul Duke STEM High School, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Georgia’s Seventh District.

When asked what inspired the creation of Sentimental, the student said, ”As a person on the autism spectrum myself, I have often struggled to understand the nuances of many tense situations and emotional discussions and have found it challenging to find the appropriate reaction. I knew that many others who were autistic or neurodivergent shared similar experiences, and I started thinking about ways to help those who faced the same problems as I did by using technology and computer science.”

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.