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McGovern Announces Congressional App Challenge Winners

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Washington, December 3, 2018 | comments
Today, Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) announced winners of the 2018 Congressional App Challenge from Massachusetts’ Second Congressional District: Vishnu Penubarthi, Tian Yu Fan, Mary Barsoum, and Akshay Gopinathan. The students are all enrolled in the Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

The students’ app, VeGETables, bridges the gap between supermarkets and food pantries by offering a platform where food pantries can request items from supermarkets. The students said they “were inspired to create the app after learning about the enormous amount of food that is wasted every year by supermarkets that could go towards feeding the millions of hungry Americans.”

“I am excited to congratulate Vishnu, Tian Yu, Mary, and Akshay on their exceptional app. I’m so proud that their work highlights the importance of creative solutions to the problem of hunger in America,” said Congressman McGovern. “Programs like the Congressional App Challenge help today’s students develop the skills they need to become the innovators and entrepreneurs or tomorrow. I look forward to following all their hard work in the years to come, and I congratulate them on behalf of our entire community.”

“The curriculum at Mass Academy is geared toward project-based learning, and encourages students to apply their knowledge to solve real world problems. We are extremely proud of all our students, and are thankful for the support from our legislators, which helps provide these opportunities to allow our students to excel and showcase their work,” said Michael Barney, Director of Mass Academy of Math and Science.

The Congressional App Challenge highlights the value of computer science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and encourages students to engage in these fields. By recognizing our nation’s young programming talent, Congress hopes to shine a light on the growing importance of these skills. The Challenge is open to all U.S. high school students in participating districts. Challenge participants are invited, either as individuals or as teams of up to four, to create and submit their own software application (“app”) for mobile, tablet, or other computing devices on a platform of their choice. A panel of local computer science professionals and congressional representatives will judge the apps, and the winners in each district will have the honor of being recognized by their Congressional representative.
The Challenge is coordinated by the Congressional Internet Caucus and the non-governmental sponsor of the project, the Internet Education Foundation. Click here to read more about the Congressional App Challenge.

The Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science is a public school of excellence for 100 academically accelerated high school juniors and seniors in Massachusetts. It emphasizes math and science within a comprehensive, interactive program. The rigor of junior year classes exceeds high school honors and Advanced Placement (AP), with more than 1,100 hours of instruction. Seniors complete a year of college, enrolling in classes at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a world-class engineering school, thus making the Academy the only public school in Massachusetts whose students attend a private university full time as seniors in high school. For more information on Mass Academy, visit www.massacademy.org
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