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Higgins Announces Congressional App Challenge Winners

Students from Williamsville School District & Nichols School Earn Top Prize

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced Open Food Facts as the winning app of the 2020 Congressional App Challenge, an annual competition challenging middle and high school students from House Congressional districts across the United States to create and submit original coding applications.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has only served to increase the value of coded applications, allowing loved ones to keep in touch, students and teachers to connect virtually, communities to access online informational resources, and residents to order food and other essential goods,”  said Congressman Higgins. “The Congressional App Challenge submissions this year reflected this importance and demonstrated creative and intellectual skill as they aimed to tackle a wide range of issues our community and country face. We commend these students for their work.”  

Coded by Sun Jae Nigalye a Clarence resident and Nichols Middle School student, Alex Pizarro from Transit Middle School, Arhan Patel from Transit Middle School, and Ryan Salatino from Minnesota, the Python application Open Food Facts assists users in making healthy dietary decisions by giving nutritional information on the food selection. The students, all members of the Coder School, Buffalo, were inspired to create Open Food Facts in response to U.S. childhood obesity numbers and their desire to make it easier for children and adults to eat healthier. Their video submission can be viewed here:

This year 6,500 students from 308 congressional districts registered to create 3,088 applications from scratch to be submitted and reviewed by a panel of select judges. Each winner is given a $100 Amazon Web Services gift card and a $75 Southwest Gift Card.

The yearly Congressional App Challenge begins in June with a submission deadline of November 1st. The program is designed to inspire involvement in STEM learning. Congressman Higgins encourages local students to participate. To learn more about the submission process visit: