Rep. Steve Scalise has named Julien Bourgeois, a 12th Grader at Haynes Academy For Advanced Studies, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Louisiana’s First District.
When asked what inspired the creation of Automatic, the student said, ”During the season opener of my Sophomore baseball season, I collided with a teammate over a fly-ball miscommunication and fractured the Tibial Plateau in my left knee. Eight miserable weeks, isolated in my room and strapped in a brace from thigh to toe, left only thoughts and computers at my disposal. That never-ending period of time served as the commencement to my passion for programming and an inevitable unleash of creativity.
By Junior year of high school, a computer lab full of brightly colored Mac-Book computers became my hot-spot. Then suddenly, on a random Tuesday, eating some Brother’s fried chicken in this computer lab, my vision came to fruition. What if the Apple Watch’s powerful motion sensors could recognize the wrist motion of a basketball shot?… and even train the users to become better shooters? In Summer 2022, I decided to work full-time as an elementary school camp counselor. Over this time, I saved up to purchase an Apple Watch for developing and received two advanced certifications in Swift and IOS development. My “pipe dream” had finally come to a start on July 8th, when I completed the very first prototype to analyze and observe specific changes and reactions in the motion sensors.
For the next two weeks, I spent my time at the local playground, gathering shot samples for the application. One day, after making fifty consecutive baskets, a stranger at the park yelled, “You’re Automatic!”. The perfect title for the project emerged: Automatic.”
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.