WILMINGTON — Rohan Kanchana, a 13-year-old eighth grader at Newark Charter School and a former Delaware State Geography Bee champ, is the winner of this year’s Congressional App Challenge.
Overall, 17 Delaware students participated in the challenge, producing 6 different apps. The ideas included an app to help people find jobs, a trivia game used to test people’s memory and multitasking skills and an app that makes it easier for people to donate items to charitable organizations.
Kanchana created an app called Geography, which is designed to help users learn more about the world. You can see a demonstration of how the app works in his pitch video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgsOaUpNhgE .
Rohan’s winning app will be featured with other winners from congressional districts across the country in a display in the Capitol Building, as well as on house.gov.
He will also be invited to a reception in Washington, DC to meet other winners, and will receive a portion of $50,000 in Amazon Web Services credits, which Amazon has donated to the competition. The credits can be used to access computing, storage, and database resources in order to help the students build more applications, run analytics, or store files.
“The challenge has been a great experience that allowed me to continue and grow my interest in computer science and STEM, especially programming,” Kanchana said. “I would like to thank Congressman John Carney for making this happen, allowing Delaware kids to participate in the challenge. I would also like to congratulate all the students who developed and created great apps.”
“Congratulations to Rohan on this tremendous accomplishment,” Carney said. “And I want to thank every student who participated in this year’s Congressional App Challenge. Your passion, creativity and hard work continue to inspire me,” Carney said. “I was amazed by every submission we received, all of which utilized the latest app technology to help educate others and solve important problems. These young people represent the future of our state, and I’m truly impressed by their understanding of the sophisticated and innovative technology that is changing our world. I have no doubt we will continue to see great things from this talented group of young innovators.”
The apps were judged by a panel of local experts who work in the academic, software, and entrepreneurial fields. The panel include Patrick Callahan, co-founder, CompassRed Data Labs; Mike Derins, CEO, The Archer Group; Ryan Harrington, education coordinator, 1313 Innovation; Robert Herrera, co-founder, The Mill Space; Rob Nicholson, director of business development, Delmarva VOIP; Mona Parikh, managing director, Start It Up Delaware, and Dana Rohrbough, acting manager, Government Information Center.
“Our state’s economy has undergone some pretty significant changes over the last few years, and it has never been more important to create an environment where entrepreneurs can turn their ideas into a successful business,” Carney said. “As we move forward, Delaware will have to compete in an increasingly globalized economy, and we are lucky to have such bright and talented young people in our state, who will soon be joining the workforce. I hope they will continue to pursue their interest in technology, programing and development, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for all of them.”