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Rep. Young Kim Holds Congressional App Challenge Reception 2023

Dec 21, 2023 | Education, Press Releases

Tustin, CA- This week, the Office of Representative Young Kim (CA-40) named Shihan (Sophia) Fu, a high school junior from Lake Forest, the winner of the 2023 Congressional App Challenge for California’s 40th District. 

Sophia created the “Trashbot” app to help encourage her peers to recycle after noticing that her peers at school were rushing to throw trash away, causing many recyclables to go into the trash instead of recycle bins. Her app uses the machine learning model to decide whether an object is recyclable or non-recyclable. The app will label an object using “plastic”, “can”, and “carton” as keywords for recyclable, and everything else is considered to be non-recyclable.

In announcing the news, Rep. Kim issued the following statement: 

“Sophia’s app, ‘Trashbot,’ not only encourages recycling at a young age but shows an impressive use of STEM concepts to help improve our environment and decrease waste in our communities,” said Rep. Kim. “I am very impressed by the 21 students in California’s 40th District who participated in this year’s Congressional App Challenge, and I am inspired by the creative ideas behind each app that would truly make a difference in people’s lives. I will always work to promote STEM and fight to expand educational opportunities so future generations can get good-paying jobs, achieve their dream, and boost U.S. competitiveness.”  

Sirisha Bandla, Vice President of Government Affairs and Research Operations at Virgin Galactic gave the keynote address to students and their families. She is an inspiration for what these young students can aspire to become in STEM fields.  

Congresswoman Young Kim is the Co-Chair of the Women in STEM caucus and served as co-chair of the Congressional App Challenge in the 117th Congress. 608 students have participated in the Congressional App Challenge and 268 apps have been submitted from students for her district since 2021.  

Photos courtesy of the Office of Rep. Young Kim can be found HERE

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