Software Development

A Newark eighth grader just won Delaware’s Congressional App Challenge

Part of a national effort, the local arm of the contest was judged by a slate of tech community members.

U.S. Rep. John Carney challenged high school students to submit the best app in the state.

(Courtesy image)

Updated: A previous version of this article reported that Rohan Kanchana would win $50,000 in Amazon Web Services credits when, in fact, Kanchana will receive a portion of that total prize. (12/8/16, 3:33 p.m.)

This year’s local Congressional App Challenge winner proves that you’re never too young to follow your dreams. At a sprightly 13 years of age, Newark Charter student Rohan Kanchana stole the show with his Geography App.
As a part of the prize package, Kanchana will be invited to the Capitol Building for a reception in Washington, D.C. The student will also be awarded a portion of $50,000 in web hosting credit with Amazon Web Services, a prize that’s being shared between all the challenge’s winners.
So what does the app do? It contains educational materials and facts that will help the user learn more about the world.
Several groups made up from the pool of 17 participating students created six apps. Ideas varied from job search app to trivia game apps.
“I have no doubt we will continue to see great things from this talented group of young innovators,” said a hopeful Rep. John Carney (D-Del.) in Wednesday’s announcement. It was Carney and his office that ran the local arm of the challenge.
Judges for this contest included some names you might recognize from the local tech community:

  • Patrick Callahan cofounder of CompassRed.
  • Mike Derins, CEO of the Archer Group.
  • Ryan Harrington, education coordinator at 1313 Innovation.
  • Robert Herrera, cofounder of The Mill.
  • Rob Nicholson, director of business development at SecureNetMD.
  • Mona Parikh, community engagement liaison at the Horn Program in Entrepreneurship.
  • Dana Rohrbough, acting manager at the Government Information Center.

The Congressional App Challenge was created in an effort to promote STEM interest for students all over the country. Carney has been a champion of keeping the challenge alive for students in the state of Delaware, as well as an advocate for bringing STEM education to low-income students.

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Here’s Kanchana’s video entry:

People: John Carney
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