Earthly wins Rep. Troy Balderson’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Ohio’s 12th District

Rep. Troy Balderson has named Saanvi Padala, an 11th Grader at Olentangy High School, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Ohio’s 12th District.

When asked what inspired the creation of Earthly, the student said, ”Earthly was a project founded with the mission to spread climate education across the world. “Rising temperatures are fueling environmental degradation, natural disasters, weather extremes, food and water insecurity, economic disruption, conflict, and terrorism. Sea levels are rising, the Arctic is melting, coral reefs are dying, oceans are acidifying, and forests are burning.(United Nations)” These are only just a few of the surplus of negative consequences of climate change. These consequences most likely occur, because of the lack of awareness in our communities, which led to widespread illiteracy in climate education. Thus, this app wants to get create a more literate population in terms of climate education, so climate change is not just taken lightly. By using the power of education, we have a chance at reducing the effects of climate change, hence it is crucial people take part in educating other people. However, with the wrong information, the situation will worsen. Therefore it is important to inform our audience with reliable information and important content, as we want to stop the spread of misinformation. Misinformation and a lack of awareness is the leading cause of the ongoing climate crisis. Valuable education is a vital step to slowing down climate change. Also motivating our audience to act in their community fosters motivation and support for our local and national organizations, that fight endlessly for change in our community. Creating a stronger community bond was crucial in this app, as the more people work together the more work our world can get done. Furthermore, we want our Journal and Gallery features to allow our users to have a personalized and valuable experience. Our gallery and journal feature inspires our users to think about certain ideas and inspire change, as they grow to see the beauty of the earth. These features were in our vision to create a more interactive user experience because just by consuming information a user might now learn as much as if they were to synthesize the information and apply it to real situations. We want the diverse features in our app to tie into a passion in the citizens of the world lastly, we hope that our app can serve as a stepping stone to help fight the climate crisis.”

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.