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East Ridge High School students earn top honors in Congressional App Challenge

Photo of students and staff with Rep. McCollum

East Ridge High School junior Archit Das and senior Raj Patel were commended by Representative Betty McCollum for their submissions to the Congressional App Challenge on Monday, Nov. 26. Das was the winner of the challenge for Minnesota’s Fourth Congressional District, which McCollum represents, and Patel was a finalist.

Das’s app, Happy Weight!, allows users to track their weight and measure their progress in reaching their weight loss goals. Das says he was inspired to create the app because of the rising rate of obesity in the U.S. and the rising healthcare costs related to obesity. The app was developed in Java using Android Studio.

As a winner of the challenge, Das will receive credit for Amazon Web Services to help improve his app. It will also be featured on the U.S. House of Representatives website and displayed at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Patel was a finalist for the competition. His app, DayCare, helps users track their daily activities to manage and reduce stress. The app acts as a schedule that will allow you to evaluate what events and activities may be the source of stress. It then helps the users find solutions to reduce the impact of the stress. Patel says the app is useful for students and adults, alike. He created the app using MIT App Inventor 2.

“It is a pleasure to congratulate Archit Das as the winner of the inaugural Fourth Congressional District App Challenge, and recognize the other finalists! My office and our panel of judges were blown away with the creativity and quality of entries,” said Congresswoman McCollum. “Students in Minnesota’s Fourth Congressional District excel in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM), and that was apparent when viewing their impressive submissions. All students who entered should be extremely proud of their creativity and hard work. It is exciting to host this competition to foster the next generation of technology superstars.”

Winners and finalists for the competition were selected by local technology experts from businesses and government agencies. Both Das and Patel were honored at school by Rep. McCollum.

The Congressional App Challenge is a competition where middle and high school students create and submit applications that they have created to be judged by local professionals in the tech industry. The challenge was created to help encourage students to invest in STEAM education and become innovators of technology. The program was first created in 2013; however, this is the first year Rep. McCollum has taken part.

Fourth Congressional District middle and high school students are encouraged to enter next year’s competition by submitting an app of their own creation by mid-September, 2019. Students are teachers can find more information about the competition at mccollum.house.gov.