RecyclIt wins Rep. Kathleen Rice’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in New York’s Fourth District

Rep. Kathleen Rice has named Alexander Wiegand from Holy Trinity DHS as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in New York’s Fourth District.


When asked what inspired the creation of RecyclIt, the student said, “When I was in 8th grade, I created a project for a STEM fair that used machine learning to identify and sort recyclables. This project inspired me to create an app to help make it easier for young people to recycle.”

The 2021 Congressional App Challenge yielded 2,101 fully functioning apps. After eighteen months of disruptions to educational cadences for students everywhere, the Congressional App Challenge came roaring back with 7,174 students registering for this year’s competition. All told, 340 Members of Congress hosted Congressional App Challenges in their districts across 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, D.C.

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. 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, theCoderSchool, Facebook, Replit, Accenture, and others.

The 2022 Congressional App Challenge will launch in June of 2022, and eligible students can pre-register for the competition now.