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South-Western City Schools News Article

SWCA Students Take Home Top Honors

South-Western Career Academy (SWCA) seniors Callan Kajdasz, Cody Leavens, and, Cole Perry have taken home top honors to recognize their app development skills through the national Congressional App Challenge.

Students were recognized with their awards from Congressman Mike Carey, and included a celebration at the school held on Monday by their teacher, Mr. Derek Fitzer, SWCA staff, and district administration.

Annually, members of the U.S. House of Representatives challenge students in their districts to create and submit original apps for a chance to win the Congressional App Challenge (CAC). Each challenge is congressional, district-specific. Winning teams and their winning apps are recognized by their local U.S. House Representative and apps may be put on display in the U.S. Capitol Building for one year. In the first seven years of the Challenge, the CAC has inspired over 40,000 students across all 50 states to code for congress.

Kajdasz took home first place in the CAC with his app, BoxSouls.“BoxSouls is essentially a game of cat and mouse,” Kajdasz said. “The game itself is infinite. Every level is procedurally generated so if you get a level you’re not a fan of, you can hit the refresh button; you can upgrade characters in the shop every four levels; you can upgrade stats, and much more. I have it on my phone and it’s a fun thing to do on your phone for a bit.”

Leavens earned second place with his app entitled The Maze.“I created The Maze game app because I wanted to create something that was entertaining, said Leavens. “I wanted something that was not boring, but challenging at the same time.”

Perry earned third place with his app, Gourme. “The idea behind the app was snacks,” Perry said. “I wanted to solve the problem of forgetting how to make snacks and not having the recipes written down. It gives you recipes and instructions from a list of brands or your own creations.”

To have this app challenge is really important,” Congressman Mike Carey said. “I think it’s important for the people of Central Ohio and the work that is done here. It is really inspiring.”

All three students are currently enrolled in the Mobile App Development Career-Technical Program at the South-Western Career Academy.

The Mobile App Development program is a two-year pathway designed to prepare students for entry into a degree program in mobile application development or design. Through the program, students develop skills using various software programs and production tools and languages including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Swift.

As a result of the program, students learn to create mobile applications for Android and iOS devices through software development with a focus on user experience (UX), and user interaction (UI) for mobile devices.

Students develop applications using Xcode and Swift for iOs, create visual content with the Adobe Creative Cloud suite and work collaboratively with GitHub and Slack. They are exposed to information security, programming and software systems, web development and digital media, and those who successfully complete the program may receive advanced college credits through agreements with some of Ohio’s community colleges.

Congratulations to these SWCA awardees and Mr. Fitzer’s program!

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