Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (2nd District of Maryland)
Dec 15, 2020
(Timonium, MD) – Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger today announced that a senior from Howard County’s Elkridge has won the seventh-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 winner – Jalen Geason, a senior at River Hill High School – created a mobile app called “Practanizer,” which is a tool for musicians to log their practicing hours. Congressman Ruppersberger surprised Jalen with the news of his victory in a Zoom call Tuesday and presented him with a Congressional certificate. You can see Congressman Ruppersberger break the good news to Jalen 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 Jalen if we want to stay competitive – not to mention, the valuable skills he has learned through this contest will prepare him for high-paying, high-demand jobs. I congratulate Jalen and all of this year’s participants, on a job well done.”
To compete, Jalen wrote computer code, designed graphics and created a marketing plan. All contest participants were required to submit a video demonstrating and explaining their app and what they learned through the competition process. Watch Jalen demonstrate how his app works here.
Jalen competed against four other submissions from high school students throughout the district. The Congressional App Challenge was first established by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014, producing thousands of functional apps created by more than 25,000 students. The contest is designed to generate enthusiasm in computer sciences to address a significant workforce shortage. According to U.S. labor statistics, there will be 1.4 million unfilled computer science jobs by the end of this year, with only 400,000 computer science graduates per year to fill them.