Rep. Michael McCaul has named Rishik Boddeti, an 11th Grader at Westwood High School, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Texas’s 10th District.
When asked what inspired the creation of iCog, the student said, ”According to the World Health Organization, there are around 55 million people who have a dementia related illness. This number is only rising and is estimated to reach 78 million by 2030 and 139 million by 2050. I was motivated to create this app after witnessing my grandfather’s struggles with dementia, particularly in receiving an accurate diagnosis. Just like my grandfather, a majority of people struggling with dementia live in developing countries with low income and a lack of access to proper medical facilities. Even worse, there are an estimated 41 million cases of dementia around the world that are undiagnosed, with over 90% of projected dementia cases undiagnosed in low-middle income countries. The lack of a proper diagnoses can be attributed to three main factors. First is a lack of access to medical facilities due to their prohibitive cost and limited access, especially in developing areas.
Second is the medical facilities that are available are overwhelmed and experience lots of delays, leading many to give up before they receive the medical help they need. Third is the main culprit – the stigma associated with visiting a doctor due to a lack of understanding and public awareness of the disease. Around 1 in 3 people believe that nothing can be done about dementia. Many are unwilling to acknowledge that they have a problem. They refuse to seek help. This is a major problem as a diagnosis especially an early one, is key to taking action, in the right step, before it is too late.”
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.