Eshoo Announces 18th Congressional District App Challenge Winner

December 21, 2020
Press Release
Student Creates App Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Assess Damage of Storm-Impacted Regions by utilizing object detection and image classification.

PALO ALTO, CA – Representative Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) announced today that Audrey Ha of Menlo-Atherton High School is this year’s winner of the 2020 Congressional App Challenge for California’s 18th Congressional District. Audrey’s app SurveyHurricane, uses AI to accurately and quickly detect damaged houses on aerial imagery of storm-impacted regions. 

“Audrey Ha was inspired to assist the efforts of the federal government to help Americans recover from hurricanes and storms which have been increasing year after year due to climate change,” Rep. Eshoo said. “SurveyHurricane uses machine learning and publicly available data to identify homes following a natural disaster to help in the recovery effort. This tool can assist first responders and government organizations in efficiently assessing hurricane damage and planning critical storm relief efforts.  I applaud Audrey for using her creative energy and technical expertise to address an immediate problem. I’m proud of Audrey and all the students who entered their app this year to help others during a difficult year while they, too, have had many new challenges. Bravo to Audrey and all the students who entered the App Challenge.”

A photo of the 2020 App Challenge winner, Audrey Ha, is below.

About the Congressional App Challenge

Congresswoman Eshoo is a founding Co-Chair of 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. It is designed to promote innovation and engagement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education fields.

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 is 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.

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