Marianas High School students, including a Fil-Am, among the winners of the Congressional apps making contest

Winners of the 2017 Congressional App Challenge Marianas High School senior students Chenoa Bunts- Anderson (left) and Daniel Villarmero. Photo © Lyn Lirio

MARIANAS senior high school students Chenoa Bunts-Anderson and Daniel Villarmero won the 2017 Congressional App Challenge making them the official Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Island winning representatives for the app making contest.

According to the winning duo, the Washington D.C. based competition is hosted by the respective members of the Congress for their district. They also said 22 students and 13 app entries competed in the CNMI for the right to represent the islands in the winning circle.

Bunts-Anderson and Villarmero won with their web-based app “The Student Companion” which gives students a set of tools to help with their studies.
The tools include a task manager with reminders and a relaxation page that utilizes calming images and soothing music to help students rest during study breaks.

According Villarmero, one of the apps’ main features is its ability to organize a student’s school tasks in general.

“In the app, it is separated to homework class, quizzes and tests and extra-curricular, the main three activities that student students usually plan for,” he said.

Another part of the app, Villarmero added, is “master list”, where students can look back and see what they have done. He added another function of the app is “stress remover” that plays soothing music while showing scenic places.

“Its main purpose is to help you unwind.”

The app is a login base that a user will have their own curated panels.
“They can access it from anywhere – either by phone, laptop, or public computer because it is online.”

The district competition, now on its third year, took place in July through early November.

A panel of judges – experts in Computer Science field – judged the entries and announced the winners in December.

Bunts-Anderson said she found out about the competition sometime several weeks before the deadline.

“I thought this is an amazing experience for us to get involved for the STEM community because there’s not much opportunity on the island. I knew that it is something that would interest me, so I contacted Daniel and ask him.”

She said the first thing they decide is what kind of app they wanted to do.

“I sorted out with the list of the problems that I faced on a daily basis. What kind of app that we could actually create that would be the solutions to our problems.”

They started developing the ‘The Student Companion’ app in October 1 and completed it and submitted the same on Nov. 1, 2017.

She said the app is a solution to a problem of not having a good way to organize the schedule and work and also even to calm down students who are stressed from work.

“Instead of having separate apps to do separate things, we wanted to combine them all into one platform so that is more cohesive. They don’t have to transfer for different apps, they just have to use one,” Villarmero said.

“We wanted a way for people to have easy access all of the information they need on a daily basis,” Bunts-Anderson said.

Both students get recognition for winning the competition. They will also get $250 from Amazon. Their app is featured in Cong. Gregorio Kilili Sablan’s website. It will also be featured in House of Representatives in Washington.
Villarmero said all the winners will get together at the conference on April 13 at the US House of Representatives, where they will have a chance to talk to people from Google, Microsoft and Amazon.

“We were excited to win this competition and it is a great opportunity for a student like us to get involved,” Bunts-Anderson said.

According to Villarmero, this challenge “is a good way to test my programming skills because I usually my own personal projects and then push it to the side. With this challenge I was able to focus on my program skills and look to more documentations and manuals. Overall, this challenge helped me sharpened my own skills as programmer.”

(Read More: http://www.congressionalappchallenge.us/about/2017-winners/)

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  1. Pingback: Marianas High School students, including a Fil-Am, among the winners of the Congressional apps making contest - Duterte Daily

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