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Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz


Lt. Governor Bysiewicz, Department of Education Commissioner Cardona Highlight Entries to the Lt. Governor’s COVID-19 Computing Challenge During Virtual Showcase

Students submit ideas for socially conscious apps that address effects of pandemic

After receiving 372 entries for the Lt. Governor’s COVID-19 Computing Challenge, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, Department of Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona, Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Sibongile Magubane, South Windsor CTE Curriculum Specialist Steven Albrecht, and members of the Council on Women and Girls Education & STEAM Subcommittee and Steering Committee today showcased 10 entries from students that have the power to create positive change during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Launched in May, the Lt. Governor’s COVID-19 Computing Challenge: A Statewide Challenge to Address Global Concern, invited Connecticut students in grades 3 through 12 to work individually or as a team to propose an idea for a new computing technology application. Students were tasked with generating creative solutions to address the numerous effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on society.

“Connecticut students have the power to make real change. As we launched this challenge, we asked our students to use this period of distance learning to develop innovative programs to help their communities during their time of need. Throughout this challenge, our students stepped up and exceeded our expectations. From designing technology applications that better inform Connecticut residents, to programs that will help aid local communities, our students have shown that they have the ability to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. I couldn’t be prouder of what our students have accomplished,” said Lt. Governor Bysiewicz.

We continually strive to offer students unique, engaging and relevant learning opportunities that allow them to gain the experience needed to compete for the high-tech, high-skill, and high-wage careers of the 21st Century economy while making a difference in their communities and helping to position our state to lead the nation. The Lt. Governor’s Coding Challenge is one example of many driving our ongoing efforts to design and evolve college and career pathways to do just that,” said Commissioner Cardona. “The ingenuity of the solutions submitted through the Coding Challenge shows that when we effectively engage the people we serve - our students – and give them a platform to amplify their voice they exceed expectations time and again. Our students embraced this as a chance to demonstrate the sort of innovation and citizenship that makes us proud and gives us hope for the future. Congratulations to all!”

Through the computing challenge, students were encouraged to use the period of social distancing to identify ways to improve their communities.

The COVID-19 Computing Challenge provided students with the opportunity to:

  • Gain exposure to uses of computer technology;
  • Develop interest in computer technology;
  • Be creative in utilizing computer technology;
  • Learn how to collaborate virtually; and
  • Apply computational thinking skills.

During a virtual showcase today, the Council on Women and Girls Education & STEAM Subcommittee and Steering Committee recognized the entries that received the highest number of votes in each category.

Submissions selected by a committee from members of the Council on Women and Girls Education & STEAM Subcommittee and Steering Committee were highlighted today in an effort to show a range of ideas from students in grades 3 through 12.

Today’s showcase highlighted entries from the following students and schools:

Third grade:

Anwesha Das,
Windermere Elementary School

Fourth grade:

Kashish Koul,
Windermere Elementary School Community

Fifth grade:
Cecilia Dresser, Adeline Curylo, Aaron Michelsen, and Erik Edstrom,
Orchard Hill Elementary School

Sixth grade:
Corey Jones Jr.,
The Engineering and Science University Magnet School

Seventh grade:
Lila Gow,
Cloonan Middle School

Eighth grade:
Devin Hazelton,
Timothy Edwards Middle School

Ninth grade:
Isabella Tuccio,
Ridgefield High School

Tenth grade:
Vincent Cai,
Cheshire High School

Eleventh grade:
Erin Mutchek,
South Windsor High School

Twelfth Grade:
Melissa Woo,
Greenwich High School

Students from across the state also cast their vote for their favorite mobile app, website and computer program they believed would defeat the spread of the disease; aid local or global communities; and encourage or inform others.

Third grade:
Gia Lloyd, Neelav Sengupta, Anuhya Choudam, and Tanishka Joshi,
Stamford Charter School for Excellence

Fourth grade:
Kashish Koul,
Windermere Elementary School

Fifth grade:
Jack Silva,
Shelter Rock School

Sixth grade:
Gretchen Goodrich-Gelarden and Alesha Chederquist,
Leonard J. Tyl Middle School

Seventh grade:
Jonathan Stekloff and Isaiah Turnipseed,
Roger Ludlowe Middle School

Eighth grade:
Jack Brehler,
Leonard J. Tyl Middle School

Ninth grade:
Rifat Tarafder,
Academy of Science and Innovation

Tenth grade:
Sufyan Saeed,
South Windsor High School

Eleventh grade:
Shamreethaa Seeniraj,
Miss Porter’s School

Twelfth grade:
Jaya Hari and Dheepa Hari,
Avon High School

The computing challenge was inspired by the work of the Governor’s Council on Women and Girls Education and STEAM Subcommittee in partnership with its Steering Committee community partners.

A recording of today’s showcase is available on the computing challenge website here.

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Samantha Norton

Director of Communications