ASMSA teams take top two spots in Congressional App Challenge

1 week ago

Two teams from the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts won first and second place in the 2017 Fourth District Congressional App Challenge.

The Congressional App Challenge is a competition aimed at encouraging U.S. high school students to learn how to code by creating their own applications. The challenge is intended to highlight the value of computer science and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and encourage students to engage in these fields. The Fourth District contest is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman.

Seniors Kenzie Glass and Kristie Glass of Prescott won first place for their project, Bookworm, which helps students curate books in their library and to find new books to read in the ASMSA library. The app allows users to connect to the ASMSA library’s catalog and research links. To view a video explaining the app, visit asmsa.me/glassbookworm.

This was the third year in a row the sisters earned an honor in the Fourth District challenge. In the 2016 competition, they teamed with ASMSA senior Noah Sherry of DeQueen for their app uBox, which allowed students to better organize and keep track of honors they received that would be notable for college applications. They won fifth place in the 2015 competition when they were sophomores at Spring Hill High School.

Sherry won second place in this year’s competition on a team with fellow ASMSA seniors Benjamin Allen of Bella Vista, Denver Ellis of Paron and John Ostermueller of Little Rock for their project, Exhibitr. The app is a platform to help museums create interactive exhibit content that patrons can view on their mobile devices. To view a video demonstrating the app, visit asmsa.me/exhibitr.

"I am proud of all the winning teams, but it was particularly exciting to see two young women who have been involved in this process for several years taking home first place. They are a great example of how anyone interested in tech entrepreneurship can be successful with enough practice and persistence,” said Daniel Moix, ASMSA’s director of Coding Arkansas’ Future initiative who also served as the teams’ sponsor.

The teams were recognized during a ceremony Dec. 4 at Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs. Johnny Key, commissioner of the Arkansas Department of Education, attended the reception and recognized the eight teams who earned honors.

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