Home State News Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger Announces Winners of High School “Congressional App Challenge”

Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger Announces Winners of High School “Congressional App Challenge”

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Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02) today announced that a team of students from Baltimore’s Western High School has won the 10th annual high school “Congressional App Challenge” for Maryland’s Second District. The academic competition, which is open to all high school students in Maryland’s Second Congressional District, requires students to create an original software application for mobile, tablet or other device on a platform of their choice.

The winners – seniors Saria Malik, Amya Johnson, and Kayniel Gooden – created the “Patrol App,” which serves as a personal safety guide for users in unfamiliar areas and cities. The app identifies nearby police cars and stations, hospitals, firetrucks and stations, ambulances and other safety resources in real time.

Congressman Ruppersberger presented Congressional citations to the students, who were accompanied to his office by their computer science teacher, Jen Smith.

“The App Challenge was created because our country has been falling behind on the STEM and computer-based skills essential for economic growth and innovation,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “We need exceptional students like Saria, Amya, and Kayniel if we want to stay competitive – not to mention the valuable skills they’ve learned through this contest will prepare them for high-paying, high-demand jobs. I congratulate each of them, and all of this year’s participants, on a job well done.”

The Congressional App Challenge is offered in districts throughout the country. Participation has grown exponentially since it was first established by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014, with more than 11,334 submissions received in 2023. Winners from across the country are invited to showcase their apps to Members of Congress and the tech community at #HouseOfCode, a reception on Capitol Hill held each spring. Their work is eligible to be featured for one year on permanent display in the U.S. Capitol Building and on the House.gov website. Each winning student also receives $250 in Amazon Web Service credits.

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Western High School is the oldest public all-girls high school remaining in the United States. It is the third-oldest public high school in the state of Maryland and part of the Baltimore City Public Schools.

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