Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC -- Today, U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) announced the winning team for the Congressional App Challenge. Four students from the Floyd County Area Techonology Center in Prestonsburg: Jacob Pitts, Jonathan Dotson, Tanner Gibson and Michael Shepherd, developed the Ky Fishing Buddy mobile app. Their winning app will be featured in the U.S. Capitol Building this year, representing Kentucky's Fifth Congressional District.

During the fall school semester, thousands of high school students coded original apps as part of district-wide competitions hosted by Members of the House for the nation-wide Congressional App Challenge.

"The Ky Fishing Buddy app is a great way to highlight our recreational hotspots for fishing in Eastern Kentucky, providing important information about laws and regulations you need to know when fishing in our region," said Congressman Rogers. "This team has submitted a winning app three years in a row! I applaud their ingenuity and ability to develop an app that could be very useful to local families and visitors. We have incredibly talented students in Eastern Kentucky!" 

"Many people in our community love to fish! There just wasn’t any apps out there with local information about our lakes and awesome fishing opportunities we have here in Eastern Kentucky," said Michael Shepherd, a CTE student.

The Congressional App Challenge invites winners from across the country to showcase their apps to Members of Congress and members of the tech community at #HouseOfCode, a reception on Capitol Hill to be held in April 2018. Their work will be featured for one year on the permanent display in the U.S. Capitol Building and on the website. The winning students will also receive $250 in Amazon Web Service Credits and $100 Southwest Airline Gift Cards to attend #HouseOfCode in Washington, DC.

"I am so pleased with our app team here at Prestonsburg," said Dr. Jeff M. Shannon, IT Teacher for Floyd County Area Technology Center. "They continue to build apps that fulfill the needs of our great community here in Eastern Kentucky. It has been wonderful, as a teacher, to go and see my student’s work featured at the U.S. Capitol over the past couple of years!"

The Congressional App Challenge aims to engage students in coding and computer science. In all, 190 Congressional districts across 42 states hosted app challenges for their student constituents.

"This year the Congressional App Challenge has expanded its reach, with notable inroads in rural America and with underrepresented minorities and young women" said Rachel Decoste, Director of the Challenge. "This has been a banner year thanks to our sponsors, partners and the dedicated educators who are at the heart of this initiative’s success."

Over 4,100 students participated in the 14-week regional competitions. They submitted over 1,270 original student-created apps, a 96% growth in number of apps from last year’s Challenge. All of the winners are listed online at

About the Congressional App Challenge

The CAC is an official initiative of the U.S. House of Representatives, managed by the Internet Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The first three years of the program yielded 426 challenges across 42 states.

2017 App Challenge Winners

PHOTO: (Left to right) Lenville Martin - Floyd County Area Technology Center Principal, Lori Bricken - Prestonsburg High Principal, Ricky Thacker - Prestonsburg High Assistant Principal, Tanner Gibson - Student, Michael Shepherd - Student, Jacob Pitts - Student, Jon Dotson - Student, Dr. Jeff M. Shannon (IT Instructor)