Did you know that most members of Congress sponsor a Congressional App Challenge to encourage U.S. high school and middle school students to pursue careers in computer science? Here in New York’s 20th Congressional District, the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge is BCHS junior Nikhil Radosevich.
On March 23, U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko visited the high school to present Radosevich with a certificate naming him a winner of the nationwide App Challenge.
Radosevich’s winning entry is a website he developed in 2021 to raise awareness about climate change. The site, earthstripes.org, allows users to learn more about the impacts of climate change in their own hometown with maps and a search engine that shine a spotlight on increasing temperatures, changing precipitation patterns and prevailing attitudes toward climate change in different communities across the country and around the world.
Visitors to the site can enter their zip code, city or county and readily find climate change information tailored to them and their location.
Radosevich also gives visitors a unique way to easily share what they’ve learned about what’s happening locally. He does this by partnering with online retailer Zazzle so people can purchase magnets, mugs, neckties and facemasks featuring a simple bar graph showing local warming data trends over 100-plus years.
At the high school, Radosevich presented Rep. Tonko with one of his Earth Stripes ties. The tie features blue and red stripes representing warming trends in Albany County since the 1800s.
“It’s a great competition and we always get great entrants but your website shows great responsibility on your part with a commitment to highlighting climate change,” Congressman Tonko told Radosevich. “And the fact that you turned it into a marketing strategy is really impressive. Keep up the good work.”
Tonko said he plans to wear Radosevich’s Earth Stripes tie at an upcoming Environment & Climate Change Subcommittee meeting. Congressman Tonko is chair of that House subcommittee.
This year’s Congressional App Challenge yielded 2,101 fully functioning apps with a total of 7,174 students registered for this year’s competition from across the country.
Winners in each district are invited to showcase their winning app to Congress during our annual #HouseOfCode festival.