05.28.14

Rep. Schiff Announces Winners of First Ever Congressional Student STEM Challenge – Winners Built "Apps"

La Cañada Flintridge, CA –Yesterday evening, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) announced the winners of the first annual congressional science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) academic competition, the House Student App Challenge, for the 28th Congressional District at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).  The theme for the first year of the competition is Computer Science; challenging students to develop an application (“app”). The award ceremony was attended by more than eighty students, parents and teachers. JPL Deputy Director Larry James also addressed the students and parents assembled. Also present at the ceremony were  Los Angeles Unified School District Administrator Dr. Todd Ullah and representatives from CalTech to inspire students to pursue STEM careers and educations.


“This challenge was an extraordinary opportunity for students to put their technical skills to the test and try something different,” said Schiff. “In the next decade, the U.S. economy is expected to add over 8 million new STEM jobs, but faces a shortage of graduates trained in those fields. If this contest is any example, we’ll have some amazing talent coming out of our community who can come up with new and innovative ideas that will help shape our economy. If these talented students keep it up, I wouldn't be surprised to find the next Steve Jobs among them.”

Samantha Englander, Laura Moreno, Javier Moro, and Diego Tamayo – a team from Hollywood High School – won 1st place for their app #MYOOTD.  The app allows users to generate, save and try out new outfits on their phones before buying or wearing them.  A user can upload photos of their own clothes, find clothes online or in stores and upload them, and build daily outfits and schedule ones in advance.  The team envisions the app will allow brands to create an online presence and ensure that the perfect outfit doesn’t just appear on a store manikin. To view the video of the app, click here.

Justin Park – from Crescenta Valley High School – won 2nd place for his app “Mission Multiplication.” The app combines learning multiplication tables with a space adventure – encouraging young students to learn their multiplication tables by traversing an asteroid field in a ship, shooting asteroids out of the way, and guiding the spaceship through the correct answer.  Wrong answers reset the base multiplier, and asteroids reduce your ship’s hull – engaging young students in a way flashcards do not. To view the video of the app, click here.

Trevor Fonda – from Crescenta Valley High School – won 3rd place for his app “A Knight’s Journey.” A knight’s journey is a theoretical challenge to create a sequence of moves of a knight on a chessboard to ensure that the knight (which is required to move in an L shape) visits each square only once.  To view the video of the app, click here.

Students from Clark Magnet High School, Hollywood High School, Crescenta Valley High School, John Marshall High School, La Cañada High, and University High School participated in the first annual contest.

Established by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, this competition is part of a nationwide event that invites high school students from all congressional districts to compete by creating and exhibiting their software application, or “app,” for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice. It is designed to promote innovation and engagement in the STEM education fields. Throughout the competition period, participating students were provided opportunities to engage with various STEM educational partners, tech entrepreneurs, and tech experts located in the District to mentor and assist them with their app development.

The House Student STEM Challenge was open to all high school students who live in or attend high school in the 28th Congressional District.  Photos from the competition can be found here.

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