Each year, the members of the U.S. House of Representatives host a district-wide Congressional App Challenge for middle school and high school students, encouraging them to learn to code and inspiring them to pursue careers in computer science.
Students are challenged to create and submit an app to the Representative for their congressional district. The ASMS student team participated in the competition for District 1 under Representative Bradley Byrne and were selected as the winners for this district. Team members included Isabelle Stabler (junior), JaMiyah Peebles (junior), Elijah Johnson (junior) and Hannah Vaccaro (senior) who were guided by the instruction and leadership of ASMS computer science faculty member, Mr. Grey Gaillard.
Mr. Gaillard described the problem that the team’s app addresses by saying, “Because students tend to take courses in a different order from each other, the amount of knowledge they’ve accumulated varies.”
Therefore, the ASMS student team collaborated to develop a cumulative testing app. The purpose of this app is to test the knowledge each student has accumulated up to this point. Students are able to choose which classes they have taken, and the app issues customizable quizzes based on knowledge from those classes. Students are able to test and refresh their memory of those courses to determine their level of mastery. Currently, the app is built to support math, science, history, and computer science classes, but it can be expanded to incorporate any course.
The development of the app was about 5 weeks. ASMS team members Isabelle and JaMiyah shared that they primarily worked on the design and questions for the app while Hannah and Elijah focused on the coding. Together, they were able to develop this app to submit to the competition and ultimately were selected as the district winners.
According to the Congressional website, “The Congressional App Challenge is the most prestigious prize in student computer science. Participation in the challenge has grown exponentially and has reached underserved, diverse, and rural student populations” (web).
The students were honored with certificates from Representative Byrne and were awarded $250 Amazon web service credits. They have also been invited to a ceremony in Washington D.C.