As an avid member of the robotics club and computer science society, senior Dylan Riffle expresses his love for computer science beyond the classroom. Last month, Florida representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz chose Riffle as the winner of the Congressional App Challenge in Florida’s 23rd district.
According to The Congressional App Challenge, The Congressional Act Challenge “is an initiative of the U.S. House of Representatives, where members of Congress host contests in their districts for middle school and high school students, encouraging them to learn to code and inspiring them to pursue careers in computer science.” In 2019, over 10,000 students registered to participate, with a total of 2,177 student-made apps reviewed by their district representatives.
Riffle’s app, Perse Visualizer, allows users to view a three dimensional model of proteins and structures with just a few clicks. The app, geared towards teachers, students and presenters, started with something Riffle had trouble with in his freshman year science class. “I had a hard time in ninth grade reading my biology textbook and seeing the things that I was reading about,” Riffle said. “Now, anyone can see and understand what proteins are and how they work.”
Perse Visualizer isn’t Riffle’s only app, nor the first he has created. He had created four apps prior to his award-winning protein simulator, including a few similar Mario, Flappy Bird Asteroid and his very own cat simulator.
From here, Riffle will participate with the other winning teams at the House of Code, where a winner will be chosen March 24. At the House of Code, students will get a chance to see their apps displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building and meet their representatives.