Concord, California – A teen from Concord won the 2020 Congressional App Challenge – CAC – for the 11th District of California.
The CAC is a public initiative to motivate young people to learn how to code in an effort to inspire creativity and to foster interest in STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics—education.
Sean Donelan, who lives in Concord and attends Northgate High School, was the winner of the challenge. Donelan designed and developed “NetHam: The Public Service Event Coordinator’s Third Hand.”
Donelan’s winning software program replaces the large, unwieldy equipment of amateur radio operators and automates their most basic tasks. The app is designed to make it easier for operators to serve as long-range communicators for public events.
“I congratulate Sean on the design of a creative and useful app that would benefit the amateur radio community and look forward to seeing ‘NetHam’ represent the many talents of Contra Costa County’s students when on display in the United States Capitol,” said DeSaulnier, who hosted the competition for the sixth time.
The competition’s panel of judges included Queenie Lau, a mobile app developer at UC Berkeley; Ruben Hernandez, director of Projects and Programs for the Office of Richmond Mayor Tom Butt; and James Lyons, district coordinator for the Office of Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia.
Second place was awarded to teammates Amrita Malhotra, Sydney Zhang, Cathy Kenderski and Olivia House; while third place went to Aarav Wattal.
“Every app submitted in this year’s competition was innovative and inspiring, and I am proud of the great STEM skills shown by every entry,” DeSaulnier said.
Established in 2014, the CAC has now reached over 14,000 students across the country, including those in underserved and rural areas.