RA Allergens wins Rep. Andy Barr’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Kentucky’s Sixth District
Rep. Andy Barr has named Prasanna Pantha of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Henry Do of John A. Rowland High School, Sastraguna Subrata of John A. Rowland High School, and Anson Wang of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School as the winners of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Kentucky’s Sixth District.
When asked what inspired the creation of RA Allergens, the students said, ”Our application is the result of problems we have personally faced. When eating out, it can be nearly impossible to tell what foods have which allergens without asking the waiter or the cook himself. Especially with uncommon food hypersensitivities, this can be a serious hassle. It is unlikely that a diner or restaurant would have nutrition labels on their food so it is also a difficult situation for vegetarians and people who are avoiding certain foods for religious reasons. This is a much more serious problem than many would think and we feel as though it could be extremely useful to the people in the aforementioned categories. We have personally used the app several times and have distributed it to friends and family members who find it very helpful. There is no other application that assists you with this. It is estimated that nearly a tenth of the world possesses serious food hypersensitivities and over half of the world cannot eat some type of meat for personal, moral, or religious reasons. Many of these people struggle to eat anything they did not make themselves because they are unsure if it contains foods they cannot eat. I have had many personal experiences with this as well as seen people close to me suffer from the same thing. Our app solves this problem; no matter what food you cannot eat, it is almost guaranteed that our database tracks it to some degree. Even very vague and unknown disorders which most of the world is never exposed to are tracked by our application’s backend. If our database does not contain it, then it uses a very complex algorithm to parse the internet for your allergen or hypersensitivity. Because of these two things, you can be sure that the food you are eating will not harm you in any way and will not counteract your personal ethical and religious beliefs.”
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.