Word Wizard wins Rep. Sam Graves’s 2023 Congressional App Challenge in Missouri’s Sixth District

Rep. Graves has named Tyler Dinh, Raphael Realina, and Julian Marquez of Park Hill High School as the winners of the 2023 Congressional App Challenge in Missouri’s Sixth District.

When asked what inspired the creation of Word Wizard, the students said, “We saw the need for a fun and instructive game to improve word knowledge for everyone, but especially for younger students. Through the combination of word-guessing challenges and competitive excitement, our goal was to develop a platform that would allow users to have fun while simultaneously easily increasing their vocabulary.

The popularity of games in digital and physical media served as another source of inspiration. For years, people have been enthralled with word games like Wordle, word searches, and crossword puzzles. We recognized a chance to capitalize on the well-established interest in word-related activities by providing a novel and engaging approach to English language exploration.

In addition, the widespread use of applications for gaming prompted us to develop a word-guessing game that is simple to use for a large number of people. We ensured that this game would benefit people of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels, whether they were looking to relax after school or had a few minutes before they had to leave for work.

Given the prevalence of digital distractions in today’s environment, we felt compelled to offer an option that deepens appreciation for language while also using technology to make it fun and approachable. With the help of this application, players may test their critical thinking skills, learn new terms, and explore the nuances of the English language. We think that by providing a word-guessing game, we can help our players engage in a more mentally and linguistically rich environment, which will enhance their communication and personal development.

Ultimately, we wanted to help create a world in which words and vocabulary continue to be essential for both effective communication and personal growth.”

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