Harlem Rep. Espaillat Announces Student Winners Of The 2020 Congressional App Challenge

Today, Representative Adriano Espaillat released the following statement announcing student winners of the 2020 Congressional App Challenge (CAC).

An annual competition that engages students in STEM coding and computer science.

The Congressional App Challenge is open to all middle and high school students in New York’s 13th Congressional District.



Participants in the contest submitted videos of their app demonstrations, which were judged by an independent panel of educators and entrepreneurs.

“Empowering students in STEM is vital to the success of our nation, and the 2020 Congressional App Challenge is an innovative initiative that encourages students across my district to learn how to code and inspires them to pursue careers in TECH and computer science. I am delighted to recognize these incredibly talented young people for their participation in this year’s competition. While working as a group and some independently, they were each encouraged to explore coding and develop their own original app as they learned more about the fascinating world of computer science,” said Rep. Espaillat.

Silicon Harlem would like to commend Congressman Espaillat for his prescience in supporting the Congressional App Challenge in the 13th District. Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is the launchpad to the future and coding is the primary language. Silicon Harlem is proud to recognize Izabell, Jonathan, and Silvester, three students from Columbia Secondary School in Harlem, for their innovative app, “Think About It”. It is an app to aid high school and college students, so they can apply active learning to their study habits. Congratulations to all,” said Clayton Banks, Co-Founder, and CEO of Silicon Harlem.

First Place Winners:

Silvester Nava attends Columbia Secondary School and loves the environment and spending time at the community garden at her school. She has a deep interest in technology and development and enjoys 3D Modeling and Sculpting in her spare time.

Jonathan Guzman is a senior at Columbia Secondary School and lives in Harlem. He’s interested in studying Physics and Computer Science and enjoys playing video games, discussing politics and current events, and coding.

Izabell Garcia is a senior at Columbia Secondary School and lives in Manhattan. She enjoys coding, drawing, and engineering. This summer, she dedicated her time to learning how to develop a code of an activism app, which allowed her hands-on training in JavaScript.

Click here to view a virtual presentation and description of the winning app. “Think It About” is an application developed to aid high school and college students so they can apply active learning to their study habits.

Second Place Winners:

A special recognition to second place entry applicants, Brios Olivares and Mannendri Olivares, twin brothers and current students at the Columbia Secondary School for their “FlattenTheCurve” app designed as a direct response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to ensure accurate dissemination of information to residents to help keep them safe.

As co-lead of the design team of FIRST Robotics Team 395 (2Train Robotics), Mannendri enjoys creating unique design solutions to robotics challenges and is also a member of the PSAL boys’ varsity soccer team.

Brios enjoys Chemistry and Precalculus. He is a member of the school’s soccer team, a FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team called 2Train Robotics, and a team for a personal software project.

Click here to view the presentation and learn more about the “FlattenTheCurve” app.

Third Place Winner:

Aviva Schwarz is a senior at the Bronx High School of Science. She is passionate about STEM, particularly engineering, with a focus on environmental applications and mitigating anthropogenic climate change.

Aviva is the digital director of the Bronx Science Journal of Biology and is an engineer on the FeMaidens, Bronx Science’s all-girls FIRST robotics team.

Click here to view her app, “DENS(C)ITY”, a tool that makes COVID-19 information and resources accessible with a real-time camera feed of popular NYC destinations.

Representative Espaillat is the first Dominican American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and his congressional district includes Harlem, East Harlem, West Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill and the north-west Bronx.

First elected to Congress in 2016, Representative Espaillat is serving his third term in Congress. Representative Espaillat currently serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Committee on Appropriations responsible for funding the federal government’s vital activities.

He is also a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), where he serves as the Second Vice Chair and is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, where he serves as Deputy Whip.

Representative Espaillat also currently serves as a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at https://espaillat.house.gov/.

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