PlanScape wins Rep. Madeleine Dean’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Pennsylvania’s Fourth District

Rep. Madeleine Dean has named Sam Schneider, an 11th Grader at Upper Dublin High School, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Pennsylvania’s Fourth District.

When asked what inspired the creation of PlanScape, the student said, ”Resilience is a very important skill in life. When faced with obstacles, it is crucial that we are able to bounce back and persevere onward. I love not only playing games, but also creating games. While games are most commonly used simply as an entertainment format for fun, they also have a great potential to teach. I wanted to create a game that is not only a whole lot of fun to play, but also one that teaches an important lesson at the same time. One frequent problem that I see with games that aim to teach some content is there is an obvious divide that forms between the information and the gameplay itself. With PlanScape, I tried to learn from other educational games and find their flaws in order to allow myself to create a gameplay experience that not only taught an important life skill but also delivered the player a great experience.”

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.