We see them, we download them, and we use them on a daily basis. Apps are what we are talking about.
Back in September, SOAR teamed up with Congressman Hal Rogers to help promote computer science in Kentucky’s Appalachian region through their 2022 Congressional App Challenge. Several high schools highlighted projects at the 2022 SOAR Summit, presented by Appalachian Wireless and the Appalachian Regional Commission, earlier this year in Pikeville. Congressman Hal Rogers and Appalachian Regional Commission Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin visited with students to learn more about their projects.
The Congressional App Challenge is a nationwide competition launched in 2015 to encourage students to explore coding and app development. It puts our students on the national innovation stage and ensures that we remain on the cutting edge of technology right here at home in the mountains.
The competition selects a winning app for every congressional district, which will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building. Winning students are invited to the #HouseofCode Capitol Hill Reception in Washington, D.C., and are eligible for several prizes.
Now, only two months later, a winner has been announced …
Meet the Winners
Belfry High School students from Pike County, Natalie Fite, Reese Varney and Ian Belcher designed an app called “Sm;)e” to provide people with mental health resources on their mobile devices.
The Team was one of sixteen who submitted an app design for the national competition.
“The problems associated with mental health have been a growing issue. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the mental health of many has deteriorated exponentially. Suicide rates are higher than they have ever been. Our application, Sm;)e, aims to help people battling mental health issues find a way to keep going,” stated Fite in her team’s winning application. “It provides encouragement and links to resources in their local area. Sm;)e could serve as their light at the end of the tunnel or as a glimpse of hope.”
The student’s app will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year, representing the most innovative students of southeastern Kentucky.
Click HERE for more information about how to compete in the Congressional App Challenge in 2023.
You can learn more about student opportunities HERE.