Smith Announces Winners in NJ-04 2018 Congressional App Challenge
Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) announced the winner of the New Jersey Fourth Congressional District’s 2018 Congressional App Challenge on Tuesday, a nationwide competition for high school students to showcase their software app skills and teamwork.
“Congratulations to the winning students from Communications High School for their exceptional app ‘BrainHack,’” Rep. Smith stated, announcing the winner of the NJ-04 2018 Congressional App Challenge during Computer Science Education Week, the week of December 3, 2018. This year, 46 participants from four high schools and one middle school submitted 13 apps.
“Once again, we received quite an impressive slate of entries, underscoring the sharp talent and skills of our students,” Smith said.
The Congressional App Challenge was created in 2014 to afford students across the country an opportunity to showcase their computer coding and software application skills on the national stage, and learn teamwork and creativity in the process. It is intended to foster STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and emphasize their importance for the future especially in areas of the economy like cybersecurity, intellectual property, and the app economy.
“BrainHack” utilizes games and exercises to foster mental creativity and strengthen memory-related functions. It offers an easy-to-understand way for seniors to get comfortable with new tech while helping elderly adults struggling with memory loss-related conditions like Alzheimer’s. The app was inspired by the grandmother of one of the winning team members, who is currently battling Alzheimer’s.
The winning students from Communications High School in Wall—who created “BrainHack”—are:
· Liam Marshall of Sea Girt
· Erica Sammarco of Colts Neck
· Anthony Sasso of Colts Neck.
Communications High School is a career academy high school that is overseen by Monmouth County Vocational School District (MCVSD).
An Honorable Mention was given to the student creators of the app “DrowSee,” which alerts drivers who are dosing off when their eyes close by sounding an alarm to wake them up. The students from High Technology High School, another high school within the MCVSD, created the app:
· Selena Liu of Holmdel
· Helena Zhang of Morganville
· Annie Zhou of Marlboro
· Katrina Florendo of Morganville
All apps submitted were judged by a three-member panel who have extensive experience in STEM fields. Roy LaManna of Freehold, the President and CEO of Vydia, Christopher Kelly of Hamilton, the UE/UI Designer at Vonage, and Debrah Smith (no relation to Rep. Smith) of Jackson, the Director of Administration/ Director of Information Technology for a large law office.
“I want to extend my special thanks to the expert panel of judges for their work and contributions to this competition,” Smith said.
For middle school or high school students wishing to participate in the challenge, they are notified by their schools or congressional offices and can submit an app through the Congressional App Challenge website; the 2018 deadline to submit apps was October 15.
After the deadline, Congressional Members and judges have approximately two weeks to review the apps; the winning app for NJ-04 was submitted October 31.
Click here to read about the 2017 winners from Smith’s competition last year.
Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) is an annual program dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take interest in computer science. The Internet Education Foundation serves as the operational “sponsor” of the CAC. For more information, please visit: http://www.congressionalappchallenge.us/