Scooby wins Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez’s 2023 Congressional App Challenge in New Mexico’s Third District

Rep. Fernandez has named Edward Scott, Craig Andree Abajo, Jesse Burch, and Haize Christiansen of Capital High School as the winners of the 2023 Congressional App Challenge in New Mexico’s Third District.

When asked what inspired the creation of Scooby, the students said, “Our country has been challenged with an ongoing and escalating issue of mass shootings in schools across the United States, these schools include Virginia Tech (33 killed in 2007), Sandy Hook Elementary (28 killed in 2012), Robb Elementary (22 killed in 2022), University of Texas-Austin (18 killed in 1966), Parkland High (17 killed in 2018), Columbine High (15 killed in 1999), Texas Santa Fe High (10 killed in 2018), Umpqua Community College (10 killed in 2015), Red Lake Senior High (10 killed in 2005), and hundreds of other schools. The first school shooting occurred in 1853, and in more recent years this tragic trend has become more mainstream than we would like. Just in the last 10 years there have been over 180 shootings.We found it to be very disturbing, disappointing, and tragic that now, when the world is so technologically advanced, these shooting incidents still take place and keep continuing. This inspired us to use technology and coding to address this problem and help save innocent lives.

For this reason, we developed a system that would tell us when and where a gunshot may occur in our schools. This was made just as a precaution towards gun violence in our school systems.”

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