FRA – Facial Recognition Attendance wins Rep. Greg Pence’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Indiana’s Sixth District

Rep. Greg Pence has named Atharv Pawar of Columbus North High School and Edward Simpson of Columbus North High School as the winners of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Indiana’s Sixth District.

When asked what inspired the creation of FRA – Facial Recognition Attendance, the students said, ”The main inspiration to create this app was our computer science class. In computer science, everyone would arrive on time, but it still took several minutes to mark everyone’s attendance. When people sat in the wrong seats, sometimes there could be a faulty absence, or someone is marked tardy although they did show up on time. If we put a camera by the door and monitored who walked into the class, we could automatically detect and mark the people as attending, or tardy, depending on when they showed up.”

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.