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News May 20, 2014 - 6:11:37 AM

Rep. Elizabeth Esty Announces Congressional “Design Your Own App” Contest Winners

By Rep. Elizabeth Esty's office

Esty cofounded the Congressional STEM Competition

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Rep. Elizabeth Esty with Congressional STEM Competition winners. (Pictured left-right) Andrew Hill, Brookfield High School math teacher and team advisor; James Steel, Brookfield; Michael Abbondondolo, Brookfield; Zachary Mangold, Brookfield; Eliot Serrano, Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy; Kristopher Marques, Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy; Jim Veseskis, Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Technology Coordinator and team advisor; Joey Bechard, New Britain; and Jeff Bechard, Joey’s father. (contributed photo)
NEW BRITAIN, CT - On Monday, May 19, Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) announced the winners for the first annual Congressional STEM Competition, a nationwide congressional academic competition where high school students compete by programing an app for mobile, tablet, or computer devices.

Rep. Esty partnered with Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) to host a reception for the winners. Rep. Esty, along with a panel of judges, selected the three winning entries. The first place winners’ YouTube video explaining their app will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol and on the U.S. House of Representatives website.

This year’s winners are:

· First Place: Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy team for their app, “Emergency Messenger.” Team members included Sean McCarthy (New Britain), Kristopher Marques (West Hartford), and Eliot Serrano (East Hartford). Jim Veseskis, Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Technology Coordinator, was the team’s advisor. Their app keeps teachers informed when there is a school emergency, providing them with important information and updates. View their YouTube video here.

· Second Place: Joseph (“Joey”) Bechard from New Britain High School for his app, “Bus Tracker.” Joey is a member of the CT Pre-Engineering Program in New Britain. Bus Tracker helps students know exactly where their bus is without using an external GPS. View his YouTube video here.

· Third Place: Brookfield High School team for their app, “BHS MApps.” Team members included Michael Abbondondolo, Zachary Mangold, James Steel, and Ari Elfenbein. Andrew Hill, Brookfield High School math teacher, was the team’s advisor. BHS MApps is an app to help freshman get adjusted to Brookfield High School. It provides users with the school map and features like a homework planner and SAT prep Question of the Day. View their YouTube video here.

The judges for the competition included:
· Dr. Peter Angelastro, NVCC STEM Academic Division Director
· Joe Pereira, Stanley Black & Decker Healthcare CIO
· Felix Cowey, Starbase Deputy Director
· Bruce Dixon, CT Pre-Engineering Program CEO
· Tom Maloney, CT Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) Director of Technology, Research, and Applications

Esty is a cofounder of the Congressional STEM Competition. The competition was open to all high school students who live in or are eligible to attend public schools located in the 5th District. Teams must have at least one 5th District resident. Students (individually or in teams of up to 4) entered the competition by submitting a YouTube video explaining their app.

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