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Joliet girls heading to Washington, D.C. to present "Know H2O" app

Posted at 1:21 AM, Mar 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-21 11:17:48-04

JOLIET - Three Joliet students are heading to Washington. D.C. because of an app they created as 8th graders in an after-school club called Code Girls United.

The "Know H2O" app the girls built may actually be able to be used by the Carbon County Conservation District to get information about water wells.

The flooding in 2022 caused all kinds of problems including with well water.

That motivated the girls to come up with an idea for an app.

"We basically just put up an app that would help you like see contaminated water and wells, and everything like that,” said Jade Forsman, a freshman at Joliet High School. “And it helps you detect everything."

The information can be searched online, but the app makes it more accessible and easier to find.

"It would have helped way more,” Bailey Shettel, a Joliet High School freshman, said if app had been available two years ago. “Considering how much area the flood covered, considering where people live and how much water impacts your life on a daily basis, I think that it would definitely have helped in that situation."

Business, presentation, and computer coding came together for these girls to win the Congressional App Challenge and a trip to Washington, DC

“You sometimes have to just read between the lines because the wording is weird on the actual coding blocks,” said Madigan Sullivan. “It doesn't really have grammar. You have to look at the context to see what it actually would do."

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Code Girls United is for 4th through 8th graders and now Madigan Sullivan, who is a freshman, gets to help those younger girls in the club.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives select a project for the Congressional App Challenge.

Rep. Matt Rosedale, R-Mont., chose the Joliet team.

Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., and Rep. Harriet Hagemen, R-Wyo., also select app winners in their districts.

These girls took second place the previous year when they were in the 7th grade.

Madigan's mom Danielle is a code leader for the girls.

"I think Bailey, she's definitely leading into that medical fields,” Danielle said. “And I know that Jade is kind of interested as well. Madigan will probably do something more artistic with it."

Code Girls United started in a basement in Kalispell in 2016 to get girls involved in computer programming and engineering.

"The more you understand about technology, the better your opportunities are going to be," said Marianne Smith, C.E.O. for the organization.

The girls head to Washington, D.C., April 11-12 and will make their presentation.

“It's going to be really exciting and fun," said Shettel.