Magnify wins Rep. Ashley Hinson’s 2023 Congressional App Challenge in Iowa’s Second District

Rep. Hinson has named Varun Pradeep and Erich Nguyen of Linn-Mar High School as the winners of the 2023 Congressional App Challenge in Iowa’s Second District.

When asked what inspired the creation of Magnify, the students said, “It all started in my freshman year, when I had to try to figure out what classes suited me and my goals in high school. A lot of other students relied on older friends or elder siblings to guide them in what classes to take when. School counselors are extremely busy, and an appointment is necessary in order to speak to them. As a result, I had a difficult time figuring out what classes I needed to take in order to be successful in high school.

The program of studies is a comprehensive guide to the classes and the guidelines that surround them at Linn-Mar, but is an intimidating document which is difficult to search through. It is currently 146 pages. Sorting through all that information to find classes from a specific subject is time consuming and frustrating.

This is the problem that Magnify seeks to solve. It aims to allow students to search up any class they like with the click of a button, and to show students classes from areas of study they are passionate about. Above all, it simplifies the process of finding classes for high school and keeps it from being overwhelming for new students.”

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.