Hear Why This Educator-Turned-CEO Can’t Stop Getting Students Involved in the App Challenge

The 2022 Congressional App Challenge is underway, and this year, we’re working to get more educators involved than ever before. The Congressional App Challenge is a great experience for your students, but don’t take our word for it – take it from Alefiya Master, Founder and CEO of the award-winning app development program, MAD-learn.

“I am a teacher first, and a CEO second. As a teacher, I know how important it is to get my kids to try things at an early age, before they develop preconceived notions of what they can and cannot do. As a CEO, I want more kids from all parts of the country (not just the tech hubs) to see themselves working for a company like mine. To do this, we must start young and we must provide inclusive opportunities for all students. The Congressional App Challenge does a phenomenal job of bringing local leaders and community members together, and involved and invested in the growth and interests of students.”

The 2022 Congressional App Challenge is open to any middle or high school student who lives or attends school in a participating congressional district. The deadline for this year’s competition is November 1st, and students can submit apps coded after November 1st, 2021 on any topic, for any platform, using any coding language.
MAD-learn specializes in educational software for K-12 students, and Alefiya knows firsthand how important it is to introduce students to the concepts and opportunities presented by computer science at a young age.

“If we only engage students in computer science, coding, app development and solving problems through technology at the high school level, it is too late. We have to expose students early and often to expand the viable talent pool and get a much more diverse set of students who are building capacity and growing interest in CS and STEM careers. MAD-learn’s key focus is to help more middle school teachers and students submit applications to the Congressional App Challenge this year. What can be better than your middle schoolers getting invited to visit DC and present in the Capitol?”
Alefiya Master mentoring young students in computer science basics with MAD-learn.
Alefiya Master mentoring young students in computer science basics with MAD-learn.

So why should you get your students involved in the Congressional App Challenge? Alefiya has some thoughts about that too.

“When you focus on something, build energy and excitement around it, recognize it and reward it, you tell students, their parents, and their teachers that this is what our nation needs in this moment. The STEM problem is a CS problem. We need more students interested in these fields, and we need more students from all walks of life and all backgrounds and experiences to bring their perspectives to solving some of our biggest problems. An app may not solve global warming. But the thinking behind it will.”

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Ready to hear more from Alefiya? The Congressional App Challenge team will be making an appearance during MAD-learn’s Back to School APPstravaganza on August 31st. The APPstravaganza is a free two-hour virtual event with four action-packed sessions for you and your colleagues to choose from. To learn more about the event and get yourself and your fellow teachers and admin registered, click the link below!