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Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger

Representing the 2nd District of Maryland

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Ruppersberger Announces Winners of 2018 High School “App Challenge

Dec 7, 2018
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger today announced that a team of seniors from Eastern Tech High School in Essex has won the fifth-annual high school “App Challenge.” 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 – Jeffrey Cai, Paulo Manalo, Samuel Kabui, and Asenath Yaptangco – created a mobile game called “Space Hops” that requires players to navigate a rocket that has run out of fuel through space, avoiding asteroids. Over the course of several months, the students learned computer coding, designed graphics, developed the game and created a marketing and advertising plan. Contest participants were required to submit a video demonstrating and explaining their app and what they learned through the competition process. You can see the winning team’s video here.

“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 Jeffrey, Paulo, Samuel and Asenath 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.”

By some estimates, the U.S. may be short by as many as 1 million programmers by 2020. The Congressional App Challenge is the most prestigious prize in student computer science. Participation in the challenge has grown exponentially since it was first established by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014, with more than 1,700 submissions received in 2017. 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.