Courtesy photo: Samyok Nepal works on the backend of the Bobcat Notify app.

Samyok Nepal, a student from Brookings High School, has been named South Dakota’s Congressional App Challenge winner, U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson announced last week.

Nepal designed an app called Bobcat Notify, which alerts students on school closures for snow days.

“Technology is a part of our daily lives,” Johnson said. “This congressional app competition was created to capture the interest of students toward a growing field and my office received several outstanding app creations. Samyok’s idea and app design were far beyond his years and I’m proud South Dakota is home to such talented young coders and developers.” 

“During the spring of 2019, we were hit by an extreme snowstorm that shut schools down for days or in some cases – weeks at a time,” Nepal said. “Whenever there was snow on the ground, I found myself focusing more on constantly refreshing the school district website instead of working on homework or studying for my next test. Students didn’t get notifications about snow days, so I decided to come up with my own solution. After I put the app on social media, it grew quite quickly.”

The Bobcat Notify app has over 1,500 users and can be downloaded in the App Store. Nepal is currently working on expanding his app to all schools in his district. Nepal was selected as the winner by a panel of computer science teachers in South Dakota.

Johnson announced the Congressional App Challenge in July, and submissions were due in October. For further information about the Congressional App Challenge, please visit www.CongressionalAppChallenge.us.

By: Office of Rep. Dusty Johnson

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