Lighthouse: A Literary Guide wins Rep. Dusty Johnson’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in South Dakota’s At-Large District

Rep. Dusty Johnson has named Katelyn Dale of Dale Homeschool and Casie Dale of Dale Homeschool as the winners of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in South Dakota’s At-Large District.

When asked what inspired the creation of Lighthouse: A Literary Guide, the students said, ”People’s brains are amazing things. Made up of billions of Neurons, constantly firing and sending messages to other parts of the brain. When we are born, we have almost all the neurons you will ever have. And as your brain continues to change and grow the connections and pathways between your neurons change as well. As you grow up, what you experience, and your environment helps your brain decide what connections are important and useful. Meaning that as you go throughout life, your brain can add new connections or subtract unused ones. Like calling to mind the names of people we run into, how to get to the coffee shop, and the funny joke you read in the magazine at the doctor’s.

But while our brains are so amazing, they need to be protected. We are surrounded by all different kinds of media that, if we’re not careful, can poorly program our brains especially those of young people and children in ways that we don’t even notice or understand. By reading certain material we might change who we are or who we will be in the future.

That is why we created Lighthouse.”



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.