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Kilili: Villarmero, Bunts-Anderson win NMI Congressional App Competition

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate) — Daniel Villarmero and Chenoa Bunts-Anderson of Marianas High School are the winners of the 2017 Congressional App Challenge, U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan announced Thursday. The Villarmero and Bunts-Anderson team bested 12 other submissions in the Northern Mariana’s district-level competition.

“All of this year’s entries to the App Challenge were very creative and innovative — a great showing for the promise of STEM education in the Northern Marianas,” Congressman Sablan said. “Every one of the students who dreamed up a concept and programmed an app can be proud of their work.”

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Chenoa Bunts-Anderson and Daniel Villarmero, winners of the Northern Mariana Islands 2017 Congressional App Competition.  Office of the CNMI Congressional Delegate photo

Selection of the winning entry was made by judges Renee Bochman of the tech company LevelTrigger and Marc Boumedine of the University of the Virgin Islands.

Villarmero and Bunts-Anderson’s app, called “The Student Companion,” is web-based and gives students a set of tools to help with their studies. Tools include a task manager with reminders, and a relaxation page that utilizes calming images and soothing music to help students rest during study breaks.

The two Marianas High School seniors worked as a team on “The Student Companion,” as did most of the 22 students who entered their work in the App Challenge. Daniel and Chenoa will now receive national recognition and their app will be eligible for display in the U.S. Capitol.

Along with winners of the App Challenge from across the country, the Marianas team will also be invited to attend the House of Code reception, scheduled for early spring next year in Washington D.C., where they will be honored for their work.

Also receiving notable mentions: in second place, The Thought Bubble by Joanie Paraiso of Mount Carmel School, is an app that assists creative writers with writing tips and story ideas. In third place, Pocket Homework by Tawnie Manibusan and Cassidy Torres of Mount Carmel School, is an assignments tracking application specifically designed for student’s smart phones.  

This is the third year that Marianas students have accepted Kilili’s invitation to take the Congressional App Challenge. The competition is open to all high school, middle school, and elementary students and is intended to encourage student creativity and participation in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Students may enter apps for a variety of platforms, such as web browsers, smart phones, or desktop and laptop computers.

To view “The Student Companion” go to

“The Thought Bubble “ go to

“Pocket Homework” go to