Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

Representing the 1st District of Maine

Falmouth Student Wins 2018 Congressional App Challenge for Maine’s First District

Dec 4, 2018
Press Release

Portland, Maine—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree announced today that Falmouth High School junior John Wahlig has won the 2018 Congressional App Challenge for Maine’s 1st District. His submission, “Midway,” aims to bridge partisan divides by providing a platform for people of different political beliefs to discuss issues. 

“It’s always exciting to see the innovative apps Maine students submit for this competition. Year after year, these apps have been impressive not only for their technical detail, but for the important problems students are trying to address with them,” Pingree said. “John Wahlig’s submission this year is no exception. He has hit on a real need for a more productive political dialogue and did a great job building a venue for it to happen. Congratulations to him and my thanks to all who participated this year.” 

In his video submission, Wahlig spelled out the need for his app. “Being taught to avoid talking about politics has led to a lack of understanding of politics. Rather, we should be taught how to have civil conversations about difficult issues. This message is of the utmost importance in today’s America as citizens grow more politically divided every day thanks to online echo chambers and a refusal to hear from the other side,” he said. “The idea (of Midway) is simple: to provide a platform that helps those on opposing sides of the political aisle find common ground through meaningful discussion.” 

This is the second consecutive year Wahlig has submitted a winning app.  He and partner, Pawan Yerramilli, won the 2017 Congressional App Challenge with a program to help diagnose concussions. 

The Congressional App Challenge is a nationwide competition—Members of Congress must choose to participate for students in their District to be eligible. Winning apps from each District will be displayed and recognized at an event in Washington, D.C. this spring.  The Internet Education Foundation coordinates the competition.