Washington, D.C. – On December 20, 2019 Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) announced the winners of the Fifth Annual Congressional App Challenge for the Fifth District.

This year, Patuxent High School student Matthew Hunter won first place with his app, “The Art of Cryptography.” Matthew’s app aims to help individuals understand cryptography and allows users of the app to decode cyphers.

Karley Trinidad and Aubrey Zeltwanger, both from Patuxent High School, won second-place for their app, “Safer Together,” which provides students, teachers, and administrators with specific instructions during various types of school emergencies. 

Patuxent High School student Alyssa Mazzone and Gwynn Park High School student Kehniah Watts tied for third place. Alyssa’s app, “Striving and Driving,” is a memory challenge game. Kehniah’s app, “NaxaNow,” teaches students about the opioid epidemic and provides resources to help those struggling with addition.

“I join in congratulating the winners and everyone who participated in the fifth annual Fifth District Congressional App Challenge,” said Congressman Hoyer. “I was extremely impressed by the creativity displayed by students this year, as well as the hard work and dedication they put into each of their apps. I also applaud their efforts to address issues confronting our communities, such as public safety and opioid abuse. Congratulations to Matthew, Karley, Aubrey, Alyssa, and Kehniah for their winning apps, and I encourage all Fifth District students to consider participating in next year’s competition.”

The Congressional App Challenge was established by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013 as a nationwide event which invites middle and high school students from all participating Congressional districts to compete as individuals or groups up to four. Students work to create and present an original software application, or “app,” for a mobile, tablet, or computer platform of their choosing.

The contest is modeled after the long-successful Congressional Art Competition and is designed to promote innovation and engagement in STEM education fields. Students who live in or are eligible to attend public schools located in Maryland’s Fifth Congressional District were invited to join the Fifth District App Challenge. The winning app will be placed on display in the U.S. Capitol alongside other winners from the nation. Additionally, the first place winner will receive $250 Amazon Web Services credits and receive an invitation to the #HouseofCode Capitol Hill Reception in Washington DC.

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