Rep. Troy Carter has named Srija Tamidela, an 11th Grader at Patrick F. Taylor Academy, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Louisiana’s Second District.
When asked what inspired the creation of WesIgn, the student said, ”Art has been with me all throughout my life and was one of the only aspects that was constant. It has helped me embrace my identity coming from an immigrant family and when I would create artwork, it felt as though I could experience no prejudice or hate from the outside world. I wanted other people, including people similar to my cultural background, to experience the same thing too. I wanted my app to reflect how I felt; the art community always embraced me and celebrated my differences. To make this experience more interactive, I coded an art style quiz and an art education feature, which annotated paintings. I specifically used New Orleans artists’ works because I am from there and wanted to showcase the diversity of my hometown.”
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.