The Congressional App Challenge is among the most prestigious prizes in student computer science. Every year, the U.S. Congress challenges students in their districts to create and submit their original apps for a chance to win this distinguished award.
To make it even more fun, the Santa Cruz COE’s Tech+ Computer Science Initiatve created the Code For Congress after-school program for Santa Cruz County students. Facilitated by Stephanie Sumarna, our EdTech and Innovation Coach, students gathered virtually in September and October to design, code and develop their ideas to make our world a better place. We had students from 6th–12th grades join from across the county, working together to design their apps. We even had an inspiring guest presentation from Santa Cruz County First District Supervisor, Manu Koenig. Students were supported in developing code by the COE’s rocket scientist, a.k.a. Data Scientist and Engineer, Miguel Rocha.
We were completely blown away by the creative and complex ideas and apps our students made! And we’re excited to announce that our very own Santa Cruz student Toma Brasoveanu won the first prize for our Congressional district in California! He designed his app, Pill Alarm, to provide people a better way of monitoring personal medication, and offer scheduled reminders based on their specific medical needs.
Toma is currently in 7th grade at Pacific Collegiate School. He’s been a member of our CyberClub and attended our summer CyberCamp at Cabrillo. To celebrate his award, Toma has been invited to the Capitol in Washington, D.C. for their planned “House of Code” event to be held in April. We are proud of all our students who participated in this program, and congratulate Toma and all who submitted their app for the competition!