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The contest seeks young people from the 1st Congressional District to create an app

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon's 1st District is inviting students to participate in the Congressional App Challenge.

The challenge will take place for the seventh consecutive year and innovative middle and high school students from all over northwest Oregon are urged to take part.COURTESY PHOTO: U.S. CONGRESS - Westview High School student Neel Jain won the challenge in 2020 for his app, PDX Concierge.

"Learning to code can be a valuable and empowering experience for students," Bonamici said in a news release. "I enjoy holding the Congressional App Challenge every year because it gives students an opportunity to learn and showcase new skills. Students always impress me with their creative and community-minded ideas."

The challenge charges students with using coding and computer science to develop a software application for mobile, tablet or computer devices. The app can serve a number of different functions and will be judged on its merits and innovation.

Westview High School student Neel Jain won the challenge in 2020 for his app, PDX Concierge.

"In April 2020, after learning that COVID-19 is most detrimental to those who are elderly or immunosuppressed, I immediately thought of my grandmother, who is in her late 70s and suffers from asthma," Jain said in the release. "I realized that a simple task like buying groceries was now a danger that could put someone at risk of COVID-19.

With this in mind, I was inspired to create an app where high schoolers deliver groceries free of charge to higher-risk groups like the elderly and immunocompromised."

This program is part of an effort by Bonamici to encourage and support STEAM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in her district.

Students entering the competition must submit their app by Nov. 1 … as well as provide a video demonstration explaining their app and what they learned through the competition process, the release said.

A panel of local experts will review the submissions. Winners from each participating congressional district will be acknowledged in a district awards ceremony and featured on the House.gov website. There also will be a display in the U.S. Capitol Building to honor the winners from each congressional district.

Bonamici is a founder and co-chairperson of the Congressional STEAM Caucus, which advocates for the integration of the arts and design into science, technology, engineering and math education to encourage creative thinking and engage more students, the release said, adding "By supporting and recognizing young programmers, Congress is acknowledging the growing importance of these fields. The U.S. House of Representatives organizes the nationwide Congressional App Challenge each year."

For more information on the Congressional App Challenge, visit bonamici.house.gov/appchallenge.


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