BookMentor AI wins Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s 2023 Congressional App Challenge in Missouri’s Fifth District

Rep. Cleaver has named Kim Khoi Lam of North Kansas City High School and Madhavan Krishnan of Northwest Cabarrus High School as the winners of the 2023 Congressional App Challenge in Missouri’s Fifth District.

When asked what inspired the creation of BookMentor AI, the students said, “We read many books, but we’ve always wished we could talk to them. The problem with reading books is that it’s not a very personalized experience, and sometimes advice isn’t tailored to our specific situation. To get that experience, we need to have coaching sessions with the authors, but they are highly inaccessible because they cost a lot of money. During the final project of our AI Course at Stanford Pre-Collegiate Institute, we proposed the idea of an app that can help mass-educate people and create a personalized learning experience. From that idea, we came up with being able to talk to renowned authors using AI since being able to talk to those authors. We want to make education more accessible to the public and not only the hyper-rich people could have personalized access to the best people in the world.”

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.