Playground Quest wins Rep. Bryan Steil’s 2023 Congressional App Challenge in Wisconsin’s First District

Rep. Steil has named Genevieve Skibicki, Cole Bucek, Ari Scheuer, and Ava Scheuer of Greendale High School as the winners of the 2023 Congressional App Challenge in Wisconsin’s First District.

When asked what inspired the creation of Playground Quest, the students said, “We learned that the United States received a D- for overall physical activity among children ages 6-17 in the United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth published by The Physical Activity Alliance.  We also knew that even though our community has 14 different parks and playgrounds, only 10% of kids on average reported regularly getting outside to play!  There are so many benefits to getting outside: more outdoor time is linked with improved motor development, lower obesity rates, better eyesight, improved levels of vitamin D, and even improved learning outcomes, so we knew we wanted to try to do something to get kids outside, active, and healthy!  With so many fun playgrounds nearby, we decided to try to find a way to use technology to get kids out into nature, and that was when Playground Quest was born–to help kids discover fun!”

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