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Pallone Congratulates Marlboro Student on Winning Congressional App Challenge

February 22, 2016
Press Release

Emphasizes Importance of Learning Computer Science for High School Students

ENGLISHTOWN, NJ – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), who serves as the Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, visited Manalapan High School to congratulate Ariel Rakovitsky, winner of the 2015 Congressional App Challenge for high school students in New Jersey’s 6th District.  Pallone presented Rakovitsky, a sophomore at Manalapan High School, with a Congressional certificate of Excellence and played the short video that Rakovitsky created for his submission.  Pallone also met with Manalapan High School students to discuss the annual competition and the importance of computer science.

“I applaud Ariel, and all of the participants this year, for their hard work in developing thoughtful and innovative apps,” said Congressman Pallone.  “The Congressional App Challenge presents a unique opportunity for some of the brightest young minds in our community to showcase both their technical and creative skills and create a product that can have far-reaching effects on people and institutions across our state and across the country.  I’m very proud of the work done by students like Ariel, and I encourage students throughout New Jersey’s 6th District to compete next year.”


Rakovitsky, who lives in Marlboro, NJ, was named the winner for his app “Students,” a crowdfunding platform for education institutions.  As a winning app in the contest, Rakovitsky’s “Students” will be displayed on the Congressional App Challenge website and on a digital display in the Capitol Building for the next year.

The Congressional App Challenge is an annual competition intended to highlight the value of computer science and STEM education by encouraging high school students to learn how to code through the creation of their own apps.  Entries to the competition in New Jersey’s 6th District were assessed by a panel of local experts on several criteria, including the demonstrated knowledge of coding and programing skills, as well as the quality and implementation of their ideas.  

Pallone added, “As the Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I have seen how innovative technology is creating new industries and opportunities for countless Americans.  We must continue to make investments in STEM education in New Jersey to ensure the next generation has the skills and tools needed to keep the United States as the world’s top innovator for years to come.”