Newhouse Congratulates Kennewick High School Student Winners of Congressional App-Design Challenge

December 3, 2018
Press Release
11th Graders Nikhil Devanathan and Aiden Arends win congressional competition

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) announced the winners of the Fourth Congressional District’s 2018 App Challenge, an app competition for K-12 students. Two Kennewick High School 11th graders, Nikhil Devanathan and Aiden Arends, both 16 years-old, have been named the competition winners. Their winning app, named “Wallet Wise,” teaches players how to manage a balanced personal budget to encourage prudent fiscal decision making. You can see a preview of the winning app by clicking here.

“Congratulations to Nikhil Devanathan and Aiden Arends, whose winning app creates realistic scenarios to encourage users to maintain a budget over a 12-month period,” said Rep. Newhouse. “I am impressed by the technical know-how, creativity, and persistence demonstrated by everyone who submitted apps to this year’s competition. Our high school students are the innovators of tomorrow, and Central Washington can be proud to cultivate the success of these hard-working young people.”

The winning app was selected by a panel of local judges and will receive a prize tour of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The winners will also share $250 in Amazon Web Services credits donated by Amazon for the challenge. The winning app will be featured on a video display in the U.S. Capitol building, as well as and the Congressional App Challenge website.

The second place app, “Invasion Defenders,” was designed by Maxwell Fischer (Southridge High School/Tri-Tech Skills Center, Kennewick), Roger Hays (Southridge High School/Tri-Tech Skills center, Kennewick), and Elijah Saba (Homeschool/Columbia Basin College, Pasco). The app is a strategy game that requires players to use a tactical approach in a battle scenario when the defending side is at a disadvantage.

The third place app, “Civilization Defense Unlimited” was designed by Jeremiah Templeton (Kamiakin High School/Tri-Tech Skills Center, Kennewick)), Nathan Weis (Mid-Columbia Partnership/Tri-Tech Skills Center, Kennewick), and Aaron Wiens (Mid-Columbia Partnership/Tri-Tech Skills Center, Kennewick). The app is a game targeted to mobile users in which players defend their town using walls and towers while developing their civilization.


The Congressional App Challenge (CAC) was created because Congress recognized that Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education skills are essential for economic growth and innovation, and that the U.S. has been falling behind on these fronts. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17% between 2008 and 2018, compared to 9.8% growth for non-STEM occupations. According to some estimates, the U.S. may be short as many as 3 million high-skilled workers by 2018. To maintain American competitiveness, it is crucial that the U.S. industry invest in our youth now and help them acquire necessary STEM-based skills. The CAC highlights and encourages students to pursue those skills.

Last year’s Fourth District App Challenge winners, Three Kennewick high school students of Tri-Tech Skills Center named Seth Florman, Damon Fuller, and Kyler Zimmerman, won the Challenge for the app they designed called “Powerhouse.” You can see a preview of the 2017 app by clicking here.