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Sam J.
Republican TX 3

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  • Honoring Five Plano East High School Students, the At&t Hackathon Competition Winners

    by Representative Sam Johnson

    Posted on 2013-03-19

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    JOHNSON of texas in the house of representatives Tuesday, March 19, 2013 Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate five remarkable students from Plano East High School on winning first place in the AT&T Hackathon Competition.

    The AT&T Hackathon, held at the AT&T Foundry development center in Plano, is a competition to promote innovative technology, the entrepreneurial spirit, and growth in computer science education. The competition is open to all technical and non-technical computer developers and designers across the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Each team is given a little more than 24 hours to create a smartphone app, which helps solve a problem plaguing the community--in this case, the decreasing high school graduation rate.

    Out of all the technology experts in the room, it was the Plano East high school team, comprised of Trent Davies, 17; Bilal Ayub, 16; Ahmed Khan, 16; Matthew Laux, 17; and Jimmy Khong, 17 that put their computer science skills to work and took home the prize. Competing against 150 plus people, the students won the contest with oculr, an app that takes camera phone-snapped pictures of math equations and searches the Internet for instructions on how to solve the problem. What a great idea. At the kickoff of the competition, the students developed the idea in less than five minutes, gave a 60 second lightning pitch to a crowd of 150 professional developers, and then created the product the very next day. To conclude the competition, the team of sixteen and seventeen year old students presented a three-minute demonstration of the app prototype to a panel of judges, [[Page E337]] experts in the technological field. I am incredibly impressed with their ability to create and put a new idea into action in only a 24- hour period. You are truly some of the best and brightest.

    Technology touches our lives now more than ever before. Students encounter social media constantly outside the classroom so why not incorporate media into the classroom to further engage and prepare students for a technology-driven world? These five Plano students embody the future of innovation. I commend them for putting their creative minds to work for the betterment of their peers and the perpetual success of our community.

    Once again, congratulations, students, on your outstanding accomplishment. I am proud to see such innovative thinking and active problem-solving from the youth in our great state of Texas. You all have very bright futures ahead of you. God Bless you.


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