Rep. Dean Phillips has named Jasmine Garry, an 11th Grader at Eden Prairie High School, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Minnesota’s Third District.
When asked what inspired the creation of RexCycle, the student said, ”I discovered that the top reason Americans say they don’t recycle regularly is a lack of convenience. Then there’s the fact that items put in recycling aren’t always recycled. It’s common for recyclables to get contaminated by dirty or improperly sorted things, which can ruin the entire load. And most people are often unsure of what goes into the recycling bin. This leads to non-recyclable materials being put in the recycling stream contaminating recyclable materials and compromising recycling machinery. There are a variety of items – including dirty pizza boxes, old clothing, hangers, plastic bags, aerosols, batteries, and electronics – that, if added to a residential recycling bin, will contaminate the entire batch of recyclables. According to this EPA data, recyclable plastics, glass, and paper accounted for 35.5% of the total landfilled trash in the U.S.; had they been appropriately placed, they could have been recycled. I could not find any app that could keep me engaged enough to consistently be conscious of my recycling so I made my own!”
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.