BikeBetter wins Rep. Suzanne Bonamici’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Oregon’s First District
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici has named Nivedha Sathish Kumar of Stoller Middle SchoolL, Anusha Jeyakumar of Tumwater Middle School, and Sahana Muthaiya of Stoller Middle School as the winners of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Oregon’s First District.
When asked what inspired the creation of BikeBetter, the students said, ”Portland is “America’s Bicycle Capital,” and true to the name, we Oregonians love to bicycle. With bicycle paths and lanes all over town – not to mention cool green spaces and striking scenery – Portland has great places to ride for bicyclists of all abilities. Bicycling is a way to get around, a fun activity that also provides health exercise benefits. In a state where bicycling is so dearly loved, not all bicycle lanes are safe and crashes have become more common. This can range from two bicyclists colliding to a bicyclist being hit by a car. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in America, more than 130,000 people are injured, and 1,000 people die each year in bicycle-related crashes. As a matter of fact, we ourselves don’t feel comfortable riding a bicycle to school due to perceived unsafe routes in our neighborhood. After learning about the state and national bicycle crash statistics, we attempted to find a data driven solution to provide information on crash-prone zones so that bicyclists can plan for safer routes. While researching we came across publicly available crash data that showed crash-prone locations in downtown Portland. It struck us with the idea to create a safer route by plotting all of those crash zones. We concluded that if people know certain roads have more crashes, they may consider taking an alternate route to ride more safely.”
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.