MetroMate wins Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Washington’s Seventh District

Rep. Pramila Jayapal has named Matthew Bevins of Lakeside School and Miles Schuler of Lakeside School as the winners of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Washington’s Seventh District.

When asked what inspired the creation of MetroMate, the students said, ”In our experience of riding (and now driving) cars nearly everywhere, traffic is ubiquitous on the streets of Seattle. This traffic clogs the roads, emits over 50% of Washington’s CO2 emissions*, and the inaccessibility of rising gas prices made us want a different method of transport that didn’t have all of these issues. The obvious solution was buses, which already have a good infrastructure in place, but the existing tools do not take full advantage of the power of King County’s Metro system. That’s why we decided to make an app that would incorporate a multitude of tools to enhance and facilitate a bus rider’s experience.

While working on a Scouting project we conducted an interview with the Homeless Outreach Manager of Bellevue, where we learned that a big issue for city officials was finding ways to make the resources in place more accessible for people of lower-income status. This was inspiring to us, as buses are a cheap and effective way to get where you want to go, so we decided that resource searching would be a perfect feature to implement in our app.”

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.