Rep. John Carter has named Ayushmaan Dubey, a 10th Grader at Meridian World School, as the winner of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Texas’s 31st District.
When asked what inspired the creation of Rise & Shine, the student said, ”As a sophomore in high school, I have helped my younger sibling with many academic concepts and school projects that he always reaches out to me for. However, it was not only him. After his friends realized that my brother was receiving help from me, they also started to come to me for projects, exhibitions, and subject help. I realized that many of these kids do not have adult mentors to guide them in different STEM areas, and this was the main reason I decided to create Rise & Shine.
Additionally, I recognized the change in curriculum and teaching methods when compared to the traditional ways of teaching. As a result, younger students struggle with important critical thinking, problem solving and parents usually cannot help because they are unfamiliar with the new methods of finding solutions. In other words, when a primary student struggles with the concepts taught in class, or coming up with ideas for their projects and the gap in teaching methods, they seek some guidance with someone who knows and understands new teaching ways and reasoning. There are many tutors available; however, they are very expensive, and practically not affordable. Creating a free knowledge sharing platform that will allow primary or early middle school kids to partner with High school students who can help them navigate STEM.
My heart breaks when I think about the kids who lost a parent, guardian and grandparent due to the pandemic. Some left with single parents working all day to make ends meet may not have time to help students everyday with academic coursework. I want to support them by creating resources that allow every primary-middle school student to excel in school.
Another factor that led to me creating this app was that whenever a high-school student volunteers somewhere, most of the time, they are not allowed to choose their work timings. This makes it increasingly difficult for students to live a balanced lifestyle, especially during the school year. When students get involved, they develop leadership skills, collaboration skills, and overall, they become better problem solvers. Also, many high schoolers with medical injuries cannot perform most of the volunteer activities since these require constant movement. The best part of this app is that this can all be done online! Students do not have to go anywhere to receive homework help, and parents do not have to constantly drive their children to various locations.”
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.