Midway High School Freshman recognized in Congressional App Challenge

Stephanie Starks, a freshman at Midway High School, has been recognized as the runner-up in the 2022 Congressional App Challenge for Texas’ 17th Congressional District. Her app, Magic Plants, teaches users about plants through an interactive game. The Congressional App Challenge aims to inspire students to pursue careers in computer science by encouraging them to learn to code. This year, a record-breaking 9,011 students registered to participate.

Starks began developing her award-winning app in an introductory computer science class offered through Midway’s Career and Technical Education program. Her app started as a class assignment, but she continued building it out on her own time. Starks embraced the opportunity to learn, despite having no previous computer science or coding experience before enrolling in the class. Midway High School’s computer science pathway allows students to explore and broaden their knowledge of the field of computer science, starting in middle school.

Susan Jones, a computer science teacher at Midway High School, praised Starks’ accomplishment, saying, “It’s really cool that she tried it in the first place, but even better that she got to be recognized for her hard work.” Jones added that Starks is a good problem-solver, and she expects great things from her in the future.

Midway High School’s computer science classes are all project-based with a focus on hands-on learning. First-year computer science students learn block-based programming, while more advanced classes focus on text-based programming languages such as Java and Python. Students can continue on paths in programming and cybersecurity, and Midway’s computer science program is continuing to expand.

Starks’ success in the Congressional App Challenge is a testament to the strength of Midway’s computer science program and the dedication of its students and teachers.

Image by Midway ISD