Vultures of Emma wins Rep. Paul Tonko’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in New York’s 20th District

Rep. Paul Tonko has named Robyn Wu, an 11th Grader at Emma Willard School, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in New York’s 20th District.

When asked what inspired the creation of Vultures of Emma, the student said, ”Vultures of Emma was created for my school’s STEAM 10 program in which each group picked an area of STEAM that they were passionate about. I was especially interested in web development and was excited to create a website to display some of the skills I had learned over the past couple of years. However, there was almost no one else interested in technology like I was so we had to improvise and combine interests. My group ended up with two members, me and Lidia Krylova. Lidia was interested in the vultures around campus, and I was interested in web development. Vultures of Emma is a direct combination of those two interests!”

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.