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Monomoy student named winner of 2020 Congressional App Challenge

Monomoy Regional High School senior Jessica Brown was recently named the 2020 Congressional App Challenge winner for the Ninth District by Representative Bill Keating. The Congressional App Challenge is an annual contest that highlights the skills and ingenuity of students across Massachusetts. The competition encourages young people to study programming and app/software development.

Jessica’s winning submission, the Event Capacity Tracker, was developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting event capacity guidelines. The app helps track attendance for events, including at high school sporting events and games. 

MRHS technology teacher Richard Oldach was instrumental in supporting Jessica through the development process. "When I originally presented Jessica with the idea of submitting an application for the Congressional App Challenge, I was impressed with how quickly she agreed to the challenge,” said Oldach. “At that time, there were only three weeks left to research, identify, design, build, and test an application. I suggested to Jessica that she talk with MRHS teacher and coach Larry Souza about the real-life problem he was having in tracking spectators at sporting events due to the COVID-19 restrictions. She immediately interviewed Mr. Souza and identified a possible app to help with his tracking problem. Jessica's innate ability to understand the user's needs and then apply the necessary programming skills to solve the problem is remarkable in students her age."

In the letter announcing the honor, Rep. Keating said, “The judges were very impressed with your work. You clearly met all of the requirements of the contest, as you identified the need, mapped out a solution and explained the code you needed to work with in order to develop the applications.”

Keating went on to say, “I was also very impressed that you addressed such an important topic, the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic has been uniquely challenging for high school students, teachers, administrators, coaches, and parents. I applaud you for applying your programming skills to such an essential problem and creating something useful in this time of adversity.”

A virtual ceremony will be held in the near future to honor Jessica and the winning app.