2022 Congressional App Challenge Winners

NCCA Students Prevail in 2022 Congressional App Challenge
Posted on 12/19/2022
App challenge winners with teacherThe first time was the charm for Newton College & Career Academy as not one, but two students placed in the 2022 Congressional App Challenge. In fact, senior Kevin Wadsworth won Congressman Hank Johnson’s App Challenge and junior, Joshua Moreland was the first runner-up in Congressman Jody Hice’s Challenge. This marked the first year students from the school competed in the Congressional Challenge.

“I am so proud of both Kevin and Joshua,” said Chad Walker, principal of Newton College & Career Academy. “To have a winner and a runner-up in our very first year of competing in the challenge is amazing. Kevin and Joshua are both outstanding scholars and they definitely represented our school and our district extremely well!”

The Congressional App Challenge is an annual competition showcasing the value of computer science and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) education by encouraging students to learn how to code through the creation of their own apps.

“Science and technology are transforming our world and I’m proud of the students who go above and beyond their school’s curriculum and other every-day tasks to compete in the challenge,” said Rep. Johnson. “The app challenge allows us to showcase some of the Fourth Congressional District’s brightest young minds as they take on cutting-edge technology that is becoming an increasing part of all our lives.”

“I am so very proud of the special recognition that Joshua and Kevin are receiving for their efforts in the 2022 Congressional App Challenge,” said their teacher, Maureen Ryan. “Our Embedded Computing class submitted 15 apps between U.S. Congressional District 4 (Johnson) and District 10 (Hice). All of our associates created meaningful ‘Apps for Good,’ which are apps designed to help the user, and I am proud of all the submissions this year.”

She added, “Joshua looked to find a way to help young learners recognize and understand basic math skills with ‘Math Link’ because he has watched family members struggle with these concepts. And then he added a Spanish version to his app as well! Kevin took a frustrating moment and turned it into a healthy way for people to ‘vent’ their frustrations or personal struggles in ‘The Vent Box.’”
Wadsworth’s winning app, “The Vent Box,” was created using Java Script and Block Code and was designed to be an app for all students who need to vent out any emotions and frustrations and get help for any type of feelings they are dealing with.

“My main inspiration to create this app was my own personal journey,” he said. “My own problems with emotions inspired me to create this app for myself and for others who may have similar obstacles to face,” said Wadsworth. “The Vent box includes resources to help you calm down when you’re feeling anxious, angry, depressed, and/or stressed. The vent box also offers information on different safety hotlines to use if you’re feeling irrational at a certain moment.”

Students competing in the Congressional App Challenge were judged on the following criteria: quality of the idea, including creativity and originality; implementation of the idea, including user experience and design; and the ability to demonstrate their coding and programming skills.

Officially launched by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2015, this nationwide effort allows students to compete against their peers by creating an application (app), or game for mobile phones, tablets, or computer devices. The challenge is designed to promote innovation and engagement in coding and computer science.
The winning apps will be featured in the nation’s Capital building, at https://www.congressionalappchallenge.us/ and on http://House.gov.

Congressman Johnson is also working on additional ways to celebrate Kevin Wadsworth and his app in the New Year. You can view the winning app, “The Vent Box,” here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1p7mWjk-34bMffVOzuwXGxdCG8D8pEFoC/view.

“Our associates, like students all throughout our school district, are capable of amazing things,” said Ryan. “The motto in my room is ‘You Can - end of story’ and that's what I strive to leave them with, if nothing else, that you can achieve anything you set your mind to- but you've got to work for it and then get your name in the hat... apply! And here we are!”

“I am thrilled that Kevin and Joshua participated in the competition and am incredibly proud that they represented Newton College and Career Academy and our school system so well,” said Samantha Fuhrey, superintendent of Newton County School System. “The fact that they have been selected first and second place respectively is extraordinary. Congratulations to Kevin and Joshua and the teachers and families who supported them!”