MHS team wins app challenge

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A team of Marianas High School students won this year’s Congressional App Challenge in the Northern Marianas, Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) announced yesterday.

Ian Rei Cataluna, Mimi Sakano, Guaen Yang, and Celina Wu worked as a team to design the winning submission. Their Health Buddy: Diabetes app bested 12 other entries to the district-level coding competition.

“Congratulations to Ian Rei, Mimi, Guaen, and Celina on their innovative and educational app,” Sablan said. “Their app is testament not just to their coding expertise, but also to their commitment to our community.”

Health Buddy: Diabetes is an Android app that provides medical information about diabetes. It includes resources available—both physically and online—to the many Marianas residents who suffer from the disease. Future upgrades include a personal medicine scheduler, iOS and web-based versions of the app, and a series of apps for other diseases.

Along with other App Challenge winners from across the country, Health Buddy will be eligible for display in the U.S. Capitol. And the Marianas High School team will be invited to attend the House of Code reception, scheduled for spring next year in Washington, D.C. Their fellow Dolphins, Daniel Villarmero and Chenoa Bunts-Anderson, who won last year’s competition, showcased The Student Companion app at the same reception in Washington, D.C. last April.

Sablan also extended his congratulations to the 24 other students who worked individually or in teams to participate in the competition.

The runners-up include two game apps designed by teams from Mount Carmel School: DODGE! BUB by Suhwan Bae and Hyo Lim Cho, and One of those Nights by Joanie Paraiso, Angelo Manese, and Gary Camacho.

“All of this year’s participants displayed impressive creativity and programming skills. They can be proud of their work,” Sablan said.

The Congressional App Challenge aims to promote computer science and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education by giving students an opportunity to have their creations recognized by their member of Congress.

The competition is open to all students in grades K-12, regardless of coding experience. Submissions were evaluated based on creativity, design, and demonstrated programming skills. Selection of the winning entry was made by volunteer judges Dana Bullister of the computer software company Project Zen, Ed Knoeckel of Howell Cheney Technical High School, and Dr. Mollie Ramon of La Joya Independent School District. (PR)

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