ShareME wins Rep. Michael Burgess’ 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Texas’s 26th District

Rep. Michael Burgess has named Helen Li of Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, Madison Huang of Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, Stephanie Xia of Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, and Kelly Zhou of Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science as the winners of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Texas’s 26th District.

When asked what inspired the creation of ShareME, the students said, ”Since we are all high school students who live in a pre-collegiate boarding school, it is often hard to adjust to the independence of being away from home. Oftentimes, whenever we are in need of necessities such as batteries, electronic cords, or even toiletries, we don’t have the transportation to get these items. Instead, we turn to a large group chat with all the students in the dorm. Though this chat facilitates a community of sorts, it falls short of providing for each individual. Texts are ineffective, left unanswered, and overshadowed by other messages. This results in students buying a surplus of items, which often contributes to unnecessary waste. To solve this widespread issue, we built ShareME, a mobile application that enables students at dorms to reduce waste by creating posts requesting to either borrow or lend items.”

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.