A Hartland High School student has been named the winner of a contest that encourages youth across the nation to code.

The Congressional App Challenge launched in 2014. It is designed to engage student creativity and encourage their participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education fields. U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin announced Friday that Hartland High School freshman Tayden Cook is the winner of the 2019 Congressional App Competition for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District.

Cook’s creation, the FamFri Messaging App, allows family members and friends to easily message and locate each other, share pictures and locations, and even participate in a kindness challenge. Slotkin visited Cook’s class, taught by Mrs. Anne Hasseld at the high school, to deliver the good news in person.

Slotkin says the app “is not only thoughtfully designed and coded, but it’s extremely useful in building strong relationships between groups of people”. Slotkin says she loves that Cook incorporated a way to promote good deeds and acts of kindness; finding a creative way to address issues like bullying.

Judges of the challenge scored apps based on functionality, creativity, and user experience. The 8th district judges were Richard Lamb, Coordinator of Cyber Operations at Pinckney Cyber Training Institute, Caroline Jobe, Senior Software Developer at Whitelabel Collaborative, and Michelle Massey, Vice President at Dewpoint. A video about Cook’s app can be viewed at the link below.