Rep. Schiff Announces 2020 Congressional App Challenge Winners

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) announced the 28th District’s winners of the annual Congressional science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) academic competition, the Congressional App Challenge. The competition aims to foster an early interest and engagement in STEM education and technology by challenging students to develop a mobile or web application.

Joshua Martinez and William Amran from John Burroughs High School won first place for their app Phone Down, which helps users use their phones less and stay focused. The runners-up were Rohin Phukan, from Crescenta Valley High School for the Simple Stock Analyzer! App, and Rebecca Tanner, from John Burroughs High School, for the Safe Space App.

“Every year I am amazed by the creativity and skill of students participating in this challenge,” said Rep. Schiff. “It takes an incredible amount of time and knowledge to develop these sophisticated and useful applications. I have great confidence that next generation will pave the way forward to ensure our nation remains competitive and technologically savvy in the growing digital age. Congratulations to all the participants, and I look forward to seeing what you create next!”

Established by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013 to promote STEM and computer-based skills education, the competition is open to all high school students who live in or attend high school in the 28th Congressional District. 

More information about the winners and their apps:

Joshua Martinez and Harley Amran – PhoneDown (1st Place)

PhoneDown helps people limit their phone use, and to help them stay focused on tasks. Once the user logs in or signs up into the app, they can decide the length of a PhoneDown session. During this session, their phone use will be monitored until the session ends. Users can earn points within the app based on how little they use their phones and on the amount of times they picked up their phone during a session. In addition, users can navigate through the in-app calendar to see how well they've performed in sessions days, weeks, or years ago. To view a video of their app, click here

Rohin Phukan – Simple Stock Analyzer! (2nd Place)

My app predicts the stock market and tells the user if they should buy the specified stock. After the user chooses a stock, my app will show you graphs of the stock's price, open price, close price, and daily high as well as search volume. The app will then use this information to tell the user if they should buy, sell or hold the stock. My app will also tell you if it is a risky buy or sell based on how certain it is that the stock will rise or fall. To determine if the user should buy the stock, the app uses an advanced mathematical formula that I made. It takes in variables such as search volume, 52 week high/low and 200 day average to make the prediction as accurate as possible. In addition, the app asks you if you want to invest short term or long term, and adjusts the algorithm based on how long you want to hold the stock. The key difference from my program and many other programs is that my app uses search volume in the stock analysis. If many people are searching up “AAPL” on google, then there is a high probability that something big will change in the stock, my app determines if the change will be good or bad and helps you choose whether to buy it or not with a buy or sell recommendation. To view a video of their app, click here.

Rebecca Tanner – Safe Space (3rd Place)

This app is a social media site with some perks for youth to communicate with each other! Specifically, youth with personal problems - whether they be eating disorders, instances of body shaming and/or objectification, LGBTQ+ enigmas, self-harm, abuse, mental health issues, and anything else users would like an empathetic community to understand and guide them in. The app also allows users to search the web to find answers on their own and set personal notifications with uplifting messages. Safe Space is a home for those who struggle to find love and support during troubled times!  To view a video of their app, click here.