NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – Congressman Bobby Scott announced the winners of the annual Congressional App Challenge in Virginia’s Third Congressional District Wednesday.

The challenge is an annual competition set up for middle and high school students encouraging them to develop STEM-based apps. The apps are submitted to the student’s respective congressional office.

“We should constantly be investing in the next generation of leaders and innovators. As the Chairman of the Education and Labor Committee, I understand that it is essential for our students to develop the necessary skills and interest in STEM fields,” said Scott.

“The Congressional App Challenge is a great opportunity for students interested in these fields to showcase their talents by competing in this national event,” he continued.

This year, over 6,000 students across the nation created and submitted 1,851 apps. In all, 308 Members of Congress hosted app challenges.

The first-place winner was Abdalla Elrahhal, a junior from Denbigh High School in Newport News. Elrahhal submitted “SpeedyCPR” — an app designed to call 911 while displaying video instructions and demonstrations for performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).  

“I participated in the Congressional App Challenge so I could challenge myself and see if I could accomplish the goal,” Elrahhal said.

The second-place winner was Zian Zhou, a junior at New Horizon’s Governor’s School for Science and Technology. His app, “foCus” is a browser extension that blocks selected apps to limit distractions and increase productivity. 

The third-place winners were freshman David Goodwin, and sophomores John Pegram and Michael Cheever of Bethel High School. Their app, “PathwayFinder,” helps incoming and freshmen students learn about the school’s academic programs by matching their interests to related programs.

All participants in the district were recognized during a virtual awards ceremony attended by Hampton and Newport News elected and school officials.