Smart Carpool wins Rep. Stephanie I. Bice’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Oklahoma’s Fifth District
Rep. Stephanie I. Bice has named Krish Patel of Casady School and Krish Mody of OSSM as the winners of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Oklahoma’s Fifth District.
When asked what inspired the creation of Smart Carpool, the students said, ”We were inspired to create this app after witnessing the struggles faced by teachers at our school to efficiently dispatch students to their parent’s cars. It was woefully inefficient and unreliable. The walkie-talkie system made it difficult to communicate and was prone to human error. This caused congestion outside of the school and blocked traffic, which had serious negative effects. We faced this issue ourselves, as the blocked traffic made it difficult for us to leave school without sacrificing a good amount of time. The car queue usually extended to the main road, which could create serious consequences. As such, we decided to create an app to improve overall efficiency that could be operated using a phone. We wanted to speed up the process of sending students out when parents walk up to the school to pick their child up. Thus, we built a QR code system to allow the teachers to scan the code and send the correct students out. We also wanted to remove the walkie-talkie system, so we built a database system which would allow changes to be seen instantaneously across all the devices of a particular school. However, this still left the system prone to errors, as the teachers had to ask the parents who they were picking up. In response, we built a license plate scanner which automatically notified teachers which students are ready to be picked up without interacting with parents. The license plates are all encoded using a SHA-256 algorithm to protect the parents’ information.”
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.