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Congresswoman Betty McCollum

Representing the 4th District of Minnesota

Representative McCollum Announces Winner of 2018 Congressional App Challenge

November 26, 2018
Press Release

On Monday, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL – Minn.) visited an East Ridge High School engineering class to congratulate student Archit Das for winning the inaugural Fourth Congressional District App Challenge. The app, called Happy Weight!, was chosen by a panel of technology experts from the Fourth Congressional District. Designed to help users lead a healthier lifestyle, the app allows users to track their weight and measure their progress against their weight goals. Das was inspired to create Happy Weight! after learning about how much money Americans spend on treating obesity related illnessesAs winner of this year’s competition, Das will receive Amazon Web Service Credits and may have his entry featured in a display at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.

During her visit to East Ridge, Congresswoman McCollum also congratulated App Challenge finalist Raj Patel for his app titled DayCare, which helps people learn about and counter the effects of depression, anxiety, and stress. 

Other finalists include:

Ryan Hill from Mounds View High School who created the app Server Side, which helps people who do not know how to code make their own servers,

Grace and Cindy Su from Mounds View High School and Chippewa Middle School who created TutorMe, an app that could help students in need of tutors find and schedule appointments with tutors willing to help,

and Chloe Narr from Hill Murray who created the app The Coffee Shoppe, which allows people to order coffee in advance and pick it up at a coffee shop in her community.

“It is a pleasure to congratulate Archit Das as the winner of the inaugural Fourth Congressional District App Challenge, and recognize the other finalists! My office and our panel of judges were blown away with the creativity and quality of entries,” said Congresswoman McCollum. “Students in Minnesota’s Fourth Congressional District excel in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM), and that was apparent when viewing their impressive submissions.  All students who entered should be extremely proud of their creativity and hard work. It is exciting to host this competition to foster the next generation of technology superstars.”

Judges for the this year’s competition were Sharon Kennedy Vickers, Ted Kozlowski, Chad Poser and Steven Yetter. 

Sharon Kennedy Vickers is the Chief Information Officer for the City of Saint Paul. She has had leading roles in organizing technology conferences, hackathons, and other initiatives to make Minnesota the best place in the country to launch and grow technology products. 

Ted Kozlowski is the Mayor of the City of Stillwater and founder and president of the DemandQuest Marketing Institute. A Silicon Valley Veteran, Kozlowski is a seasoned technology sales and marketing executive. 

Steven Yetter and Chad Poser both work for 3M in Maplewood Minnesota. Yetter is 3M’s Mobile App Developer and Poser is a 3M Application Architect.

The Congressional App Challenge is a nationwide STEAM competition where students create an application or “app” for desktop/PC, web, tablet, mobile, or other devices. Fourth Congressional District middle and high school students are encouraged to enter next year’s  competition by submitting an app of their own creation by mid-September, 2019. Students are teachers can find more information about the competition at