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Lipinski Names Local Student Winner of Congressional App Challenge

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) is proud to announce that Lyons Township High School Senior Scott Turro is the Third District’s winner of this year’s Congressional App Challenge.  The Countryside resident’s app, “Water Ring Game,” cleverly reproduces a classic childhood toy in the form of a mobile device app.

“The app submissions we received varied significantly, and all were great demonstrations of the students’ creativity and skill,” said Rep. Lipinski.  “Scott’s app stood out for the sophistication of the code and the STEM skills he demonstrated.  I want to congratulate him and thank his family and his teacher, Natalie Carlson, for their support.  All of the students who submitted apps to this year’s competition did great work.”

Scott worked hard to program realistic movements into the rings, mimicking how plastic rings move through water and bounce off walls.  To do this, he developed algorithms that drew on his physics and math skills.  The result is a realistic reproduction that even responds to the user shaking the phone. 

A video featuring Scott’s app will be played throughout the year on a screen in the U.S. Capitol, and he will receive credits for free web hosting services and an invitation to a special coding-related event next year in Washington, D.C.

A panel of experts, including John McDonnell from Infogix, Inc., Catherine Greenspon from Project Infinite Green, and Steven McGee from The Learning Partnership, judged the apps.

“I was very impressed with the quality of the submissions,” said McGee.  “Each of the students identified an interesting problem to address and their apps represented a great first step at providing solutions.” 

The runners-up are Amos Alonzo Stagg High School student Monica Para, who entered an app called “EsteemBeam,” and Whitney Young Magnet School student Gabriel Laniewski, who entered an app called “Locker Buddy.” 

The Congressional App Challenge began in 2015 as a way to inspire students from every corner of the country to explore STEM, coding, and computer science through hands-on practice.