Peak to Peak students win 1st, 2nd place in congressional app contest
Aditya Nandyal first learned about the idea of an ecological footprint in his Advanced Placement Human Geography class, but he wanted to know more about how to step more lightly on the Earth.
A sophomore at Lafayette’s Peak to Peak Charter School, he used his interest to develop an interactive app called “Objective Green” and enter it into a contest.
“I wanted to help bring awareness to ecological footprints, what it means and what to do with it,” he said.
Aditya recently took first place in Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District App Challenge. Peak to Peak sophomores Yosha and Avanti Gautam also took second place, while a junior from Fort Collins won third place.
“I was incredibly inspired by the innovation and creativity displayed in this year’s submissions to the Congressional App Challenge,” Congressman Joe Neguse wrote in a news release. “This year’s winners not only displayed their talented coding skills, but really focused on issues of national and community importance, furthering causes that they are passionate about.”
The Peak to Peak students said they liked the openness of the app contest.
“You can make an app for anything,” Aditya said. “It can be a game or something practical.”
His app has two parts, calculating a person’s ecological footprint, and a place to enter household items to see if they’re recyclable. People can check again after they’ve made changes to see if their environmental footprint improved.
He took a class over the summer that taught him to code with the Swift programming language, and he put that knowledge to use in coding his app.
“I wanted to see how much I had learned,” he said.
He added he was able to get his finished project to a point where it’s “almost an exact replica” of what he envisioned.
Yosha and Avanti developed an app called “AI Apprentice,” an interactive game that teaches about artificial intelligence through social issues.
“We wanted to introduce AI to late middle school students and high school students,” Yosha said. “It’s such a daunting topic, but it’s important. AI is part of so many things.”
Avanti said they coded the app using Unity and C sharp — and didn’t have experience with either.
“There was a learning curve,” she said.
She became interested in artificial intelligence through a science project in eighth grade.
“It gave me a sense of how important it is and how many people are unaware of the impact,” she said. “All of that was the inspiration.”
By: Amy Bounds
Source: Daily Camera
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