This year’s first place winner is Natick’s Simon Juknelis and his app, TrackMyRep. 

Malden, MA - Today, Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (MA-05) announced the annual Congressional App Challenge winners from Massachusetts’ Fifth Congressional District.

Natick’s Simon Juknelis was awarded first place for his app, TrackMyRep, which features a browser extension focused on bolstering civic engagement and education. Zainab Khorakiwala from Lexington was awarded second place for P.O.V., an app that educates users on period poverty and its impact across the globe and encourages them to join the fight to end this public health crisis. Jasmine Traidman, Maryia Pauliuschchyk, Luca Mezzanotte, and Jack Shah, a team from Belmont, were awarded third place for Crows, a safety navigation app that alerts users to suspicious activities nearby and helps them avert danger. 

“Every year, the Congressional App Challenge offers students across the nation a space to develop their coding skills and explore their interests in the world of STEM. And every year, I am blown away by the wealth of talent and innovation in MA-5,” said Clark. “The apps created by our students demonstrate their impressive skills and help connect and educate our community. Special congratulations to this year’s winner, Simon, who is enabling the public to stay informed and stay involved – the cornerstones of a healthy democracy.” 

On the development of this app, Juknelis said, “I was inspired to create TrackMyRep when I learned that 63% of Americans cannot name their House representative and 47% do not even know what party their representative is a member of. This is concerning because if people don’t know who their representatives are, then they certainly don’t know how their representatives are voting on matters of policy. At the heart of the American democratic system is the principle that lawmakers will

represent the views of the people and are responsible to the people. However, this is undermined when most people do not know how exactly their House representatives are working to help them. As I designed TrackMyRep, I aimed to simplify obtaining this information as much as possible.”

Juknelis’ app will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building and featured on the House of Representatives website

The annual Congressional App Challenge was first launched in 2013 and is designed to inspire innovative efforts around STEM, coding, and computer science education for America’s youth. Each spring, middle and high school students from around the country are invited to participate. 

For more on these winning apps, visit Congresswoman Clark’s website

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