Two Local Middle School Students Win 2023 Congressional App Challenge
Two middle Schoolers from Newark Valley have been announced as the winners of the 2023 congressional app challenge.
Sixth graders Myah Whitney and Addison Neno came up with the idea for their app called Chatter from a sign language chart on the Newark Valley playground.
The app helps people learn American sign language right on their phones or tablets.
"There's like a lot of people out there that like, don't even know what sign language is like. They don't know how to phrase any. And just like knowing people that do sign language and they don't know how to communicate with them," says Addison Neno.
The nationwide competition encourages students to learn STEM values by coding their own app for a digital device.
The student's app is eligible to be displayed in the U.S. Capital Building and fees will be waived if they choose to copyright the app.
"We're going to continue our app and try to make it into like an app that a lot of people use. And we're just going to try to like, expand the sign language throughout the world," said Whitney.
The app perfectly represents Rep. Marc Molinaro's 'Think DIFFERENTLY' initiative, which works to break down barriers for those with intellectual, developmental, and social disabilities.
Molinaro released a statement saying, "I am extremely proud of all of the talented local students who participated in the 2023 Congressional App Challenge and am excited to share Myah Whitney and Addison Neno are our winners for their outstanding work to create an app that teaches people ASL in a fun way.
It takes two to communicate and its inspiring to see Myah and Addison take on this challenge to help Deaf and hard of hearing individuals communicate with others. This is Think DIFFERENTLY in action, way to go!"