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MISS AMERICA 2014 TO BE A JUDGE IN MENG’S CONGRESSIONAL SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATH (STEM) COMPETITION

May 5, 2014 , Jose Pinto Stephen (josepintostephen@gmail.com)

Davuluri Official Photo

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) announced today that current Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri – the first South Asian American to win the title – will be a judge for the Congresswoman’s first ever Congressional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) contest.

Meng’s competition, entitled “The House Student App Challenge,” is part of a new nationwide contest established by the House of Representatives late last year in which high school students compete by creating and exhibiting an “app” for mobile, tablet or computer devices on a platform of their choice. The winning app in each participating Congressional district will be featured on the U.S. House of Representatives’ website (www.house.gov), and displayed in a special U.S. Capitol exhibit in Washington, D.C.

“I am thrilled that Nina Davuluri has accepted our invitation to be a judge in our first annual Congressional STEM competition,” said Meng. “Nina is an advocate for STEM education, and a role model to those seeking to enter the STEM fields. Her involvement in our competition will further highlight the outstanding STEM talent that exists here in Queens, and I look forward to her helping to decide the winner.”

“It’s an honor to be participating as one of the judges in the first annual Congressional STEM Competition,” said Davuluri. “As Miss America, I am proud to advocate for STEM education, and I am excited to see how creative the students will be in their presentations.”

Davuluri will only judge entries in Meng’s contest. The other judge of Meng’s competition – and also the principle advisor of her contest – will be Jukay Hsu, the Founder of the Coalition for Queens (C4Q), a nonprofit organization promoting the tech industry in the borough.

Meng-Nina Davuluri Photo

Meng has spent the last few weeks visiting Queens high schools encouraging students to enter the contest. To date, she has been to Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside, Flushing High School in Flushing, Forest Hills High School in Forest Hills, Maspeth High School in Maspeth and Newtown High School in Elmhurst.

Students who wish to enter the Congresswoman’s contest or obtain additional information should log onto a special link on Meng’s website at http://meng.house.gov/services/stem-competition. Students taking part in the competition are required to provide a YouTube or VIMEO video demo explaining their app. All entries must be original in concept, design and execution. Students may compete individually or in teams of up to four students.

The deadline to enter the competition was April 30 but the date has been extended to May 31 to give students more time to participate. The winner will be announced at the end of June. All students who take part will receive a certificate of Congressional recognition. More than half a dozen students have already entered Meng’s contest.

The 25-year old Davuluri, a native of Syracuse, New York, was crowned 2014′s Miss America this past September at the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City. She had previously been Miss New York.

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