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Congressman Garret Graves

Representing the 6th District of Louisiana

Graves Announces 2017 Congressional App Challenge Winner

December 5, 2017
Press Release

Baton Rouge, La — Congressman Garret Graves (R-Baton Rouge) is pleased to announce that Evan Goldsmith, a senior at Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, is the 2017  winner of the Congressional App Challenge from the Sixth Congressional District.  Goldsmith’s app, “The Schedule Tracker” was created to scan student ID’s and provide an interactive map of their campuses and their class schedules.  It also allows students to scan a friend’s ID to compare schedules and class location. 

“Due to the size of many campuses, a majority of young students often find themselves struggling to make it to class on time and I hope this app will help them succeed as students,” Goldsmith said. 

The Congressional App Challenge is a national competition aimed at encouraging U.S. students to learn how to code by creating their own application.  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. 

We were blown away by the creative ideas and programming used to create these apps.  These students are the future leaders of Louisiana and I would like to thank everyone who submitted apps and encourage them to continue to generate new ideas on how to improve the lives of people across the globe, said Graves. 

Rep. Graves surprised Goldsmith at his school today to announce that he won this year’s competition.  This was the first year for students in the 6th District to participate and Graves’ office had over 30 apps submitted.  A panel of five judges helped select the winners:  Dr. Judy Wornat, LSU Dean of Engineering, Nathan Cotton, Interim President of Louisiana Science Teacher Association, Charlie D’Agastino, Executive Director of LSU Innovation Park,  Beth O’Quinn, Talent Manager, Louisiana Client Innovation Center at IBM Corporation and Chris Kimmel, Director of Application Development at Sparkhound.

Rep. Graves also stopped by Lee Magnet High School to congratulate the second and third place winners.  There was a tie for second place and those apps are “Stay Alive” by Fikir Gebremedhin, an app designed to help teens deal with mental disorders and “Seizure Alert” by Scott Butler and Blake Swan, which was created to help those with seizures alert others during a seizure attack.  Three apps also tied for third place: “Brella” an app created by Alan Thurman, Max Morris and Saugat Ghimire focusing on helping those find homes or a place to stay after a natural disaster, “Little Library Tracker” by Margaret Stewart that enables others to find and share books, and  "Keys to My Health ” by Raven Dickenson that allows those with diabetes to enter and track their numbers and  plan a healthy meal plan based on those results.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Goldsmith, as first place winner from Congressman Graves’ district will receive a $250 credit in Amazon Web Services, his app displayed in the U.S. Capitol and on the house.gov website (10 million visitors a year).  He will also receive an invitation to the House of Code, a reception in Spring 2018 at the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, DC. 

Congressman Graves remains committed to generating new resources and initiatives for students to get involved with the STEM industry.  Added Graves, “We must invest in a well-educated STEM workforce. Technology continues to evolve and we need to encourage  our students to venture into the computer sciences to help further economic growth and innovation in our region and to remain competitive.”