SkyRobotics wins Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Illinois’s Eighth District

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi has named Anmay Gupta, a 12th Grader at James B. Conant High School, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Illinois’s Eighth District.

When asked what inspired the creation of SkyRobotics, the student said, ”When talking to elementary schoolers and former First Lego League participants, even those that succeeded in robotics competitions and were good at coding ended up not liking robotics due to how finicky the robot was and how code never seemed to really take shape in students’ minds, staying as something abstract rather than a real-world and concrete idea.

That’s why I wanted to create an application that’s capable of reaching everyone, even elementary schoolers without access to computer labs or powerful computers, and that removes the consistency problems within robotics so that robotics stops being frustrating and inaccessible. SkyRobotics solves this problem by using a website, rather than dedicated software, to code the robots, making it accessible and easy to use by combining it with fully custom-made robots that use sensor feedback to stay on course.

After creating the app, I demonstrated it in front of 45 elementary school students, about 12% of whom were experienced in robotics and technology. 41 of the students found the experience entertaining, and I even received special feedback about how students started to enjoy designing code and building new projects because of how the robot brought the code to life. I hope that I can demonstrate the app in front of even more students and bring a love for robotics and coding to even more people within my community.”

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.