Raleigh, NC – Today, Congresswoman Deborah Ross (NC-02) announced Tucker Willenborg, a junior at Green Level High School in Cary and creator of the “Qial-DB” app, as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge for North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District.

“STEM education is critical for preparing our young people for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Congresswoman Ross. “The students who participated in this year’s Congressional App Challenge are our future engineers, mathematicians, professors, and researchers who will one day help to solve the climate crisis, cure diseases, develop groundbreaking technologies, and expand our scientific horizons. They are all exceptionally impressive and a credit to their families and our community. I especially want to congratulate Tucker Willenborg for winning this competition with his innovative app to better treat and understand cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Tucker developed Qial-DB to store and process data from experimental trials and medical imaging for research on cancer and Alzheimer's disease. Qial-DB provides data in an easy-to-use interface that allows images to be viewed in 3D, experimental trial results to be viewed in customizable graphs, and selections of data to be downloaded. Tucker was inspired to create Qial-DB because of its potential to have a real impact on medical research as well as for the great learning experience of developing an app.

The competition was judged by a panel of eight leading STEM educators and employers from North Carolina’s 2nd District who also acted as mentors for the participants:

  • Vinny Smith, Co-Founder, Contender Esports Cary
  • Caleb Smith, Co-Founder, Contender Esports Cary
  • Keith E. Babuszczak, Ed.D., Provost of IT Programs and Chief Campus Officer, RTP Campus, Wake Technical Community College
  • Mark Holmes, Channel Account Executive, CDW South
  • Brent Simoneaux, Ph.D., Director of Content Marketing, Red Hat
  • DeShawn Brown, Founder and CEO, Lithios
  • Kyle Linton, Vice President of Operations, Lithios
  • Kassidy Jezierski, Business Development Analyst, Lithios

Established by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, the Congressional App Challenge is a nationwide competition for middle school and high school students designed to expose students to the world of app development without requiring prior coding experience. Each participating congressional district selects a local winner who then competes with winners from other participating districts for further awards.