Rep. Andy Kim has named Ethan Friedman of Rancocas Valley Regional High School and Emmanuel Cruzat of Rancocas Valley Regional High School as the winners of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in New Jersey’s Third District.
When asked what inspired the creation of TalkingCivics, the students said, ”We were inspired to create this app because we saw on the news multiple times for years how a large number of voters are uninformed. If voters don’t know about their government, their ability to make an informed decision at the ballot box goes down. We wanted to not only fix that problem, but fix it early. By giving students of all ages, particularly high school students, a tool to learn about civics, their knowledge about government when they vote later on will be greater. As such, their ability to make an informed vote goes up. We feel that informed voters are necessary to have a functioning government that represents the people and we believe our app helps people become informed.”
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.