Kennewick students win Congressional App-Design Challenge - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Kennewick students win Congressional App-Design Challenge

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) announced the winners of the Fourth Congressional District’s App Challenge, an app competition for K-12 students. Three Kennewick high school students of Tri-Tech Skills Center: Seth Florman, Damon Fuller, and Kyler Zimmerman, have been named the competition winners for their app named “Powerhouse,” which enables the user to take on the role of business owner of an energy company. These young men designed the app to illustrate an energy company’s responsibilities to communities and to draw attention to the challenges energy providers face when balancing production, operating expenses, and environmental decisions. You can see a preview of the app by clicking here.

The winning app was selected by a panel of local judges and will receive a prize tour of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The winners will also share $250 in Amazon Web Services credits donated by Amazon for the challenge. The winning app will be featured on a video display in the U.S. Capitol building, as well as and the Congressional App Challenge website.

The second place app, “Alone in the Forest,” was designed by Evan Fetterolf of Kennewick, Washington and Carlos Magana of Plymouth, Washington. The app teaches the user basic survival skills through a series of games.

The third place app, “Hive Mind,” was designed by Talia Avery of Richland, Washington and William Burton of Kennewick, Washington. The app challenges the user to manage a beehive and demonstrate the challenges beekeepers face on a daily basis. 

The Congressional App Challenge (CAC) was created because Congress recognized that Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education skills are essential for economic growth and innovation, and that the U.S. has been falling behind on these fronts. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17% between 2008 and 2018, compared to 9.8% growth for non-STEM occupations. According to some estimates, the U.S. may be short as many as 3 million high-skilled workers by 2018. To maintain American competitiveness, it is crucial that the U.S. industry invest in our youth now and help them acquire necessary STEM-based skills. The CAC highlights and encourages students to pursue those skills.

Last year’s Fourth District App Challenge winners, Tobias (Toby) Williams, Jamas Middleton, and Elijah Stiham, were also students at Tri-Tech Skills Center and won the Challenge for the app they designed called Trinity Complex.