Eshoo Announces 18th Congressional District App Challenge Winner

January 6, 2020
Press Release

PALO ALTO—Today, Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) announced the winner of the 2019 Congressional App Challenge for California’s 18th Congressional District, Sidney Hough of Saratoga High School. Sidney’s app, Uproot, prevents heavy crop losses by identifying invasive plants. Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, Uproot analyzes photos of plants in real-time to detect growth that is harmful to crops.

“Sidney Hough was inspired to create her cutting-edge app to increase productivity in underserved agricultural communities,” Eshoo said. “Uproot can alleviate important, real-world issues that farmers face every day. Congratulations to Sidney, as well as the 16 Challenge participants for pursuing innovative technology to create meaningful change.”

About the Congressional App Challenge

Congresswoman Eshoo is the Co-Chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus, which hosts the Congressional App Challenge. Established by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, this bipartisan competition is part of a nationwide event that invites high school students from all participating congressional districts to compete by creating and exhibiting their software application, or “app,” for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice. The Congressional App Challenge is designed to promote innovation and engagement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education fields. This year, over 300 Members of Congress hosted App Challenges in their Congressional Districts.

Apps are judged based on the following criteria: quality of the idea, including creativity and originality; implementation of the idea, including user experience and design; and demonstrated excellence of coding and programming skills. The winner from the 18th Congressional District was chosen by an independent panel of expert judges. Each winner of the Congressional App Challenge will receive $250 in Amazon Web Services (AWS) Credits, are invited to a #HouseofCode Capitol Hill reception, and their App will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building and on for a year.

Students can learn more about the annual Congressional App Challenge here.