ROCKVILLE, M.D. — Today, Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) announced the winners of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge: Walter Johnson High School seniors Ainesh Chatterjee, Salamun Nuhin, Botond Parkanyi and Charles Wang. The four created CoronaSafe, a Python-based application that analyzes COVID case data and urban density to create a unique COVID contraction risk calculation for any global address given by the user.
“This team demonstrates the pure tech savvy and true civic responsibility of MD-08 students,” said Rep. Raskin. “It is an honor to represent students like Ainesh, Salamun, Botond and Charles, as well as each of the young coders who submitted innovative and creative apps to my office’s App Challenge. I know that Maryland students are prepared to lead us into the future with their scientific entrepreneurship and public spirit.”
Uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 contagion, amidst concerns of new variants like Delta, inspired the students to create CoronaSafe. The app empowers the user with geographic, real-time data to understand the contraction risk associated with their daily activities, travel plans and other circumstances. CoronaSafe’s algorithm employs urban density calculations, giving it potential adaptability for use against any virus that spreads through close proximity and respiratory transmission, such as the flu or measles.
Rep. Raskin featured the four students on his weekly “Local Heroes” video series, available here.
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”). Winning apps are featured on the U.S. House of Representatives' website, the Congressional App Challenge website, and are displayed in a U.S. Capitol Building exhibit.