Smith hosts winners of app challenge

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On May 9, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) praised the winners of the New Jersey Fourth Congressional District’s 2018 Congressional App Challenge for their hard work, ingenuity and desire to help others through their software app “BrainHack.”

“Liam, Erica and Anthony earned this award for their teamwork and excellence, and their effort to serve other people,” Smith said in a press release. “Their app ‘BrainHack’ is designed to help persons struggling with memory loss and dementias such as Alzheimer’s, guiding them through fun mental exercises to strengthen creativity and memory-related functions. Their impressive app not only showcases their technical expertise, but it performs a valuable service for others who need assistance.”

The creators of “BrainHack” all attend Communications High School in Wall Township: Liam Marshall of Sea Girt, Erica Sammarco of Colts Neck and Anthony Sasso of Colts Neck.

On May 9 they were honored with other students from around the country at the “House of Code” reception on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The Congressional App Challenge is a nationwide competition, created in 2014, for high school students to work with their peers to develop computer coding and software application skills, according to a press release from Smith’s office.

The challenge was created to foster STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and math) among young students as preparation for a possible career in fields like cybersecurity, intellectual property and the software app economy, according to the press release.

All apps submitted to the New Jersey District 4 competition were judged by a three-member panel with extensive experience in STEM fields: Roy LaManna of Freehold, the president and CEO of Vydia; Christopher Kelly of Hamilton, the UE/UI Designer at Vonage; and Debrah Smith of Jackson (no relation to the congressman), the director of administration/director of information technology for a large law office.