For Second Year in a Row, BRIS Brings Home Top Prize in National Coding Competition

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Each year as part of the Computer Applications class at BRIS, students are challenged with coding an app of their own concept and design, encouraging them to harness their creativity to solve real-world problems. The apps that demonstrate the most originality, creativity, and potential impact are entered into the Congressional App Challenge, a nationwide coding competition. 

This year, BRIS put in an impressive showing with three students recognized among the 2020 Congressional App Challenge award winners for the 6th Congressional District of Louisiana, two of which held both the first and second place spots in the competition. Additionally, for the second year in a row, BRIS brought home the top prize for the Congressional District, a feat achieved by only one other school.

Ninth-grader Mackenzie won first place for her project Get Hooked!, an app that helps people learn how to crochet. Her project was also voted the “Most User-Friendly” app.

As the official winner, Mackenzie has been invited to Washington, DC, to represent the 6th Congressional District of Louisiana for the 2021 #HouseofCode, a reception for all Congressional District winners to present their apps in the U.S. Capitol for all Members of Congress to view. Mackenzie’s app will be featured in the U.S. Capitol for one year. She also received public recognition and a personal congratulatory phone call from U.S. Congressman Garret Graves.

AJ (Grade 10) placed second, just behind Mackenzie, with his Handi Organizer, an app that would improve the quality of life for the handicapped. This app allows the users, who are handicapped, to organize physical activities and sporting events, whether social or competitive. AJ was also recognized as “Most Likely to be an Advocacy Champion.”  

Lakenedi (Grade 9) received an Honorable Mention for her Get Rhythm Now!, an app that helps people find their rhythm in dancing. Lakenedi’s project was also recognized as the app “Most Likely to Go Viral” and “Best Energy.”

“The Congressional App Challenge is one of the largest and most competitive platforms for our students to showcase the amazing Learning, particularly in STEM, that is happening at BRIS,” said Abraham Delos Reyes, Computer Applications teacher. “I continue to be impressed by the coding knowledge, creativity and ingenuity displayed by the students each year.”

The Congressional App Challenge is an initiative of the U.S. House of Representatives, where Members of Congress host contests in their districts for middle school and high school students to help inspire innovation and learning in coding and computer science. 

In its sixth year, the Congressional App Challenge has established itself as one of the largest student computer science competitions and one of the most prestigious prizes in student coding and computer science worldwide.

Although COVID-19 challenged many educational efforts across the United States in 2020, the Congressional App Challenge had its most successful year yet. Students nationwide put in an incredible 128,000 hours of code and submitted 1,851 original apps for consideration in this year’s competition.

“I am incredibly proud of all of our students competing this year. They consistently perform well in this national competition, and I’m sure they will continue to do so,” said Vicki Jarrell, Head of School. “It is a reflection of our students’ hard work and the outstanding teaching staff at Baton Rouge International School.”

Congratulations to each of our Congressional App Challenge winners. We are extremely proud of their determination and creativity. Geaux Falcons!