(ROCKVILLE, M.D.) – Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) today announced the winner of his 2019 Congressional App Challenge: a team of Montgomery Blair High School students, Matthew Casertano, Andrew Healey, and Aaron Chyatte, who won for their submission, “Search Party.”

The Congressional App Challenge began in 2014 as an effort to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and to encourage students to learn coding and computer science skills. Students in participating congressional districts compete against their peers by creating original software applications (“apps”). Applicants competed to win prizes, including a $250 Amazon Web Services credit that can be used toward the cost of hosting their app, and to have their work displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building. Winners from across the country will be recognized at the House of Code reception next spring in Washington, D.C. to demonstrate their app to Members of Congress and staff.

This year’s 8th District winning team, Matthew, Andrew and Aaron, describe their impressively thoughtful app Search Party as an easy-to-use interface for citizens to collaborate with law enforcement on missing person searches.  The students noted, “It enables a director to create a search party, invite others to join it, and effortlessly coordinate even the most complex of searches. Features provided include a group map that tracks and demarcates the areas that have been searched once (green) and more than once (red), a group directory with contact information, in-app individual chats, and a guide from the Missing Persons Advocacy Network that contains basic tips for searching.” 

“It is a singular honor to represent Maryland’s 8th District, which is home to so many talented and inspired students, as evidenced by the many excellent entries submitted in this year’s Congressional App Challenge,” said Rep. Raskin. “I commend all of the student coders who submitted such innovative and creative apps, and I want to say thank you to all of the family members and educators who support these wonderful students.”