Phoenix students’ app creation wins Congressional challenge

Pictured is the winning Xavier team with Congresswoman Krysten Sinema. Pictured, from left is are Emily Conn, Lily Castle, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, Katherine Katsenes, and Katherine Thomas. (submitted photo)

Four Xavier College Preparatory juniors have used their coding and computer science skills to win the 2017 Congressional App Challenge from Arizona’s 9th Congressional District.

The winning Xavier team is comprised of Lillian Castle, Emily Conn, Katherine Katsenes and Katherine Thomas.

They created their “Teens for Political Action AZ” application in order to promote youth discourse and involvement in the issues affecting themselves, their community and their country, according to a press release.

The annual Congressional App Challenge aims to engage students in coding and computer science. A total of 190 congressional districts across 42 states hosted app challenges for their student constituents, the press release stated.

More than 4,100 students participated in the 14-week regional competitions, submitting 1,270-plus original student-created applications, a 96 percent growth in the number of apps from last year’s challenge.

All of the winners from across the country have been invited to showcase their apps to members of Congress and the tech community at #HouseOfCode, a reception on Capitol Hill to be held in April.

Their work is eligible to be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol Building and on the House.gov website, and each winning student has been awarded $250 in Amazon Web Service credits.

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