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Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

Representing the 5th District of Connecticut


Rep. Elizabeth Esty Announces Congressional “Design Your Own App” Contest Winners

May 19, 2014
Press Release

Today, Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) announced the winners for the first annual Congressional STEM Competition, a nationwide congressional academic competition where high school students compete by programing an app for mobile, tablet, or computer devices.

Rep. Esty, along with a panel of judges, selected the three winning entries. The first place winners’ YouTube video explaining their app will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol and on the U.S. House of Representatives website.

This year’s winners are:

1st Place: Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy team for their app, “Emergency Messenger.” Team members included Sean McCarthy (New Britain), Kristopher Marques (West Hartford), and Eliot Serrano (East Hartford). Jim Veseskis, Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Technology Coordinator, was the team’s advisor. Their app keeps teachers informed when there is a school emergency, providing them with important information and updates. View their YouTube video:

2nd Place: Joey Bechard from New Britain High School for his app, “Bus Tracker.” Joey is a member of the CT Pre-Engineering Program in New Britain. Bus Tracker helps students know exactly where their bus is without using an external GPS. View his YouTube video:

3rd Place: Brookfield High School team for their app, “BHS MApps.” Team members included Michael Abbondondolo, Zachary Mangold, James Steel, and Ari Elfenbein. Andrew Hill, Brookfield High School math teacher, was the team’s advisor. BHS MApps is an app to help freshman get adjusted to Brookfield High School. It provides users with the school map and features like a homework planner and SAT prep Question of the Day. View their YouTube video:

The judges for the competition included:

  • Dr. Peter Angelastro, NVCC STEM Academic Division Director
  • Joe Pereira, Stanley Black & Decker Healthcare CIO
  • Felix Cowey, Starbase Deputy Director
  • Bruce Dixon, CT Pre-Engineering Program CEO
  • Tom Maloney, CT Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) Director of Technology, Research, and Applications

Rep. Esty partnered with Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) to host a reception for the winners. Rep. Esty is a cofounder of the Congressional STEM Competition. The competition was open to all high school students who live in or are eligible to attend public schools located in the 5th District. Teams must have at least one 5th District resident. Students (individually or in teams of up to 4) entered the competition by submitting a YouTube video explaining their app.