Congressional App Challenge

U.S. Congressman Michael C. Burgess is pleased to announce the winning submission for the 2023 Congressional App Challenge (CAC). The annual app competition was open to private, public and home-schooled students in middle and high school who reside in and/or attend school in the 26th Congressional District of Texas. The CAC is an initiative of the U.S. House of Representatives to encourage students to participate in STEM, learn coding and inspire their pursuit of careers in computer science. Over 11,000 students across the nation participated in this year's Congressional App Challenge, coding over 3,600 fully functioning apps! The Congressional App Challenge is the most prestigious national prize for students in computer science.


Students from Harmony Science Academy Carrollton, Frisco ISD’s Frisco High School, Lone Star High School and Reedy High School, Denton ISD’s Guyer High School and Braswell High School, Lewisville ISD’s Flower Mound High School and Killian Middle School, and Prosper High School, submitted entries in this year’s 26th District contest. A three-judge expert panel reviewed our student submissions. The panelists were Maria-Kristina Hayden: Founder & CEO of OUTFOXM, Inc., Bekah Sanchez: Division Chair, Information Technology & Computer Science at North Central Texas College, and Darrell Smith: Interim Dean, Industrial & Engineering Technology at North Central College.


This year’s winning app was created by Ms. Sanchana Shanmuga, a senior at Flower Mound High School. The winning app is entitled “Auditory”. The app was initially designed as an audio-based studying app to assist visually impaired students to prepare for school assignments. However, Sanchana realized the app’s three key features: “Learn”, “Quiz”, and “Scan” can help all students study smarter! “Learn” reads the student’s notes aloud; the more the student hears their notes, the more familiar they become with the content. The next feature “Quiz” is created to specifically target the student's ability to answer questions and can be used for vocabulary or memorization. Lastly, with the “Scan” function, students can use their phone to take a picture of their physical notes and easily convert images to text. The student is then able to copy the text to their clipboard to use in the “Learn” or “Study” functions. 


“I applaud the creativity of all the students that participated in this year’s contest and extend special congratulations to Sanchana for her winning app” remarked Congressman Burgess. Each student who participated in this year’s contest will receive a “Special Certificate of Congressional Recognition.”


As the 26th District winner of the 2023 Congressional App Challenge, Sanchana will be invited to join other winners from across the nation to attend the #HouseOfCode Reception scheduled for April 10-11, 2024. This event serves as a platform to recognize and celebrate the innovative contributions of these outstanding young minds in the field of computer science. In addition, Sanchana’s “Auditory” app will be displayed electronically in the U.S. Capitol building for the next year. The winning apps from participating congressional districts across the country will also be posted on the U.S. House of Representatives’ website ( and the Congressional App Challenge website ( for one year.  


For further information about the Congressional App Challenge, visit or contact Robin Vaughan, Deputy District Director, in Congressman Burgess’ Lake Dallas district office by email: or phone: 940-497-5031.