Capitals Quiz wins Rep. Jill Tokuda’s Congressional App Challenge in Hawaii’s Second District

Rep. Tokuda has named Mazzy McCloud, an 11th grader at Island Pacific Academy as the winner of the 2024 Congressional App Challenge in Hawaii’s Second District.

When asked what inspired the creation of Capitals Quiz, the student said, “Two years ago, I began a personal goal to learn the names of all countries in the world. With a lot of dedication and work, I managed to achieve that goal within about a month, and it truly was the start of my passion for geography. After being able to consistently name all of the countries, It was time for a new challenge. I wanted to recognize each country’s flag when being shown, and once again, I succeeded. The next step in my geographical journey was to learn the capitals, but I knew this would be the most challenging part yet. Most existing websites designed to quiz you on your knowledge of capitals were in one of two styles: A list of countries where you type the capital, or a map where you type the capitals. While these two have helped people learn the capitals before, this is not my learning style. These websites would be helpful down the line, but I wanted to create an app for people just starting out their capital journey. This led to the creation of the ‘Capitals Quiz’ app, a blend of my passion for geography and passion for coding. I have always loved computer science. I took AP Computer Science Principals as a sophomore, a whole year earlier than allowed at my school. Following the creation of my app it lead to the success of me learning all of the capitals, and inspired my friends to try to expand their worldly knowledge.”

This year’s Challenge saw an unprecedented level of participation, with 374 Members of the House of Representatives hosting competitions, surpassing the previous record of 340. A remarkable 11,334 students from across the United States competed in this year’s Challenge, marking an impressive increase of nearly 1,000 participants compared to the previous record set in 2019. The enthusiasm and creativity these students display is a testament to the growing interest in technology and signal a bright future for American innovation. The surge of ingenuity continued with a whopping 3,645 original applications flooding in, nearly a thousand more than the previous year’s high. This remarkable growth showcases the exceptional talent and innovation within our nation’s youth.

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. This resounding show of bipartisan support emphasizes the critical importance of STEM education in today’s rapidly evolving world. 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 2024 Congressional App Challenge will launch in May of 2024, and eligible students can pre-register for the competition now.