Beefriend wins Rep. Elissa Slotkin’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Michigan’s Eighth District

Rep. Elissa Slotkin has named Makala Faix of Hartland High School and Ani Lahser of Hartland as the winners of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Michigan’s Eighth District.

When asked what inspired the creation of Beefriend, the students said, ”Bees are an important part of ecosystems across the U.S., without them wildlife and plant populations wouldn’t be able to survive. It’s our responsibility to care for our local ecosystems and helping pollinator populations thrive is an excellent way to do our part, however finding information that’s personalized to your local bees can be a daunting task. We wanted to make taking care of the environment as accessible as possible, inspiring us to create Beefriend.”

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.