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Womack Honors Winner of 2018 Congressional App Challenge

Bentonville eighth grader recognized for developing app that helps farmers identify and deal with harmful insects

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Washington, November 19, 2018 | comments

Bentonville, AR – November 19, 2018….Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) today honored Ahilan Eraniyan, an eighth grader at Haas Hall Academy in Bentonville, for winning the 2018 Congressional App Challenge. The Challenge is a nationwide competition that encourages students to pursue an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.

Congressman Womack said, “It’s inspiring to see students use STEM to innovate and develop novel applications. I congratulate Ahilan on this great accomplishment. His program is an outstanding example of using technology to solve problems our community and nation face. Ahilan’s app is not only impressive, but it will also help secure our agriculture industry and support farmers. I hope his work will inspire other gifted students in our district to pursue STEM education and careers.” 

Dr. Martin Schoppmeyer, Superintendent of Haas Hall Academy said, “Thank you, Congressman Womack, for advocating for the youth of Arkansas and promoting STEM activities. Haas Hall Academy is proud of Ahilan Eraniyan and his hard work in developing the app, Insectionary. Haas Hall Academy continues to support the creativity of scholars and the exploration of STEM related endeavors."  

Ahilan’s winning app, Insectionary, allows farmers and scientists to identify harmful and problematic insects. Users can take and input pictures of insects found on crops into the app. The program then identifies whether the specimen is harmless or problematic. The technology also provides in-depth information about the insect.

Womack honored Ahilan with a Congressional certificate for his winning app at a ceremony at Haas Hall Academy in Bentonville. The event was attended by the entire eighth grade class, where Womack discussed the importance of coding and education with students. 

Entries were reviewed by a panel of local experts and judged on originality, creativity, and quality of the app design. The judges included Jeff Amerine, Phyl Amerine, and Haley Allgood of StartUp Junkie Consulting in Fayetteville. Ahilan’s winning app will be exhibited on a digital display in the U.S. Capitol building and on the Congressional App Challenge website. 

This is the fourth year Womack has hosted the Congressional App Challenge in Arkansas’s Third Congressional District. More information about the winning app can be found here.

Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) has represented Arkansas’s Third Congressional District since 2011. He serves as the Chairman of the House Committee on the Budget and is a member of the House Appropriations defense, military construction-veterans affairs, and labor-health and human services subcommittees. Additionally, he co-chairs the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform.



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