In 2021, KWHS student, Jess McIntyre, was named the Wyoming Congressional App winner for her ingenuity and creativity with her app, “Better Shopping List.”
This year, KWHS students Derek Burt and Cael Hull showcased their innovation and creativity with their app, "Medication Reminder", winning them the 2022 Wyoming Congressional App Challenge award.
Every year, members of the U.S. House of Representatives challenge students to create original apps for a chance to win the Congressional App Challenge. “The Congressional App Challenge’s mission is to inspire, include, and innovate efforts around STEM, coding, and computer science education.” - Congressional App Challenge, (2021), https://www.congressionalappchallenge.us/
Jess’s app, inspired by her mom, organizes a user's shopping list by each item's store location. “It keeps you from going back and forth in the store. You don’t look at your list and realize you forgot something at the back, so your shopping is more efficient,” explained Jess. With the guidance of her computer science teacher, Becky Byer, Jess learned how to write code for iOS to create her app, “I had to make a lot of demos beforehand. I would demo the app in languages I already knew, such as Scratch, which is block coding, and then I would transfer it to iOS, so it took a while.” Her problem-solving skills, dedication, and effort proved to be fruitful, “I was really thankful for the opportunity. I was just so glad that the hard work had paid off. I was grateful to Ms. Byer for having the patience. She didn’t know iOS either, and she learned it with me.”
Derek and Cael’s app helps users remember to take their medication at the appropriate time. Their inspiration for the idea transpired out of an interest in helping others and seeing firsthand the experience of family members, “My grandparents were having trouble remembering what medication to take, so I thought if there were an app for this, it would be easier for them,” shared Cael. During their time at KWHS, they successfully completed all three levels of programming courses, leaving them with a peaked interest to learn more. Hearing of the Challenge opportunity, they dedicated to collaborate their interest and ideas together to expand in their coding knowledge. “I think it was a good experience to learn exactly how to code an app because it is a lot different than the languages we have learned,” Derek shared, “I will definitely use it in the future because I am planning to get a computer science degree at UW.”
Winning apps are displayed in the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. as well as on the Congressional App Challenge website for the year.
Kelly Walsh High School is committed to preparing all students for their next step by creating high expectations, academic rigor, and personal responsibility.