Santa Barbara High Students Win Congressional App Challenge

Source: Office of Rep. Salud Carbajal

[Wednesday], Congressman Salud Carbajal announced the winner of the 2018 Congressional App Challenge for California’s 24th District. The winners were a team of four students from Santa Barbara High School: Gabrielle Englese, Madeline Rogers, Joy Patterson, and Karleigh Dehlsen for their app “Santa Barbara Highlights.”  

After witnessing the destruction of recent natural disasters, the winners were inspired to create an app that would boost Santa Barbara’s local economy. Their app features an interactive map of popular local spots, giving visitors a more meaningful experience of Santa Barbara while promoting our local businesses.

“The Congressional App Challenge is a great way to get students involved with STEM and computer science, giving them hands-on technical education and letting them have fun while doing it,” said Rep. Carbajal. “Congratulations to Gabby, Madeline, Joy, and Karleigh for winning this year’s competition and representing the Santa Barbara community in such a positive way.”

“We are very proud of these four smart young women who won this prestigious challenge, and that the demographics of the Computer Science Academy approach the demographics of the high school population overall, with growing percentages of both female and minority students,” said Richard Johnston, Director of the Santa Barbara High School Computer Science Academy. “In fact, one of our primary objectives is finding ways to engage under-represented students in computer science, which is an essential component of virtually every job in the modern economy.”

The Congressional App Challenge was launched in 2015 by the House of Representatives to highlight the importance of STEM education and allow middle and high school students to compete against their peers by creating an application for a computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Winning apps are displayed at the U.S. Capitol during the House of Code Reception and featured on the Congressional App Challenge website.

An awards ceremony will be held at the Santa Barbara Congressional District Office on Monday, December 3rd at 3:15pm PST, where winners will receive a Certificate of Recognition and a $250 credit from Amazon Web Services allowing them to continue coding and enhancing their app. Local technology company, Sonos, has also donated a free tour of their audio chamber, where several software engineers will meet with the winners to discuss careers in technology and coding.


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