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DCSD student wins Congressional App Challenge

CASTLE ROCK – Brad Cooley, a junior at Douglas County High School, was recognized in Washington, D.C. this week by Congressman Ken Buck, after winning the Congressional App Challenge for the 4th Congressional District.

A total of 116 winners from across the country, each representing a different congressional district, were selected for the honor. Cooley finished in the top ten in the competition and was amongst a small group of honorees that were invited to present their apps during an event sponsored by Oracle on March 1.

Cooley had the opportunity, during the House of Code event, to visit with several of the other winners.

“It really shocked me. Wow, this is happening all across the nation,” Cooley said. “There are kids out there that are like-minded.  We all have a passion for computer science. They were excited about what they were doing and how they could contribute to making things better for people.”

The annual challenge requires students to program an original smart phone application, encouraging the acquisition of skills in computer science and other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. 

Cooley’s app, Crunch Time, allows users to input their wait time at restaurants so that other users can know how long they’ll be waiting in line for a table. The project, which began during an Economics class project, has been well received by restaurants here in Castle Rock, according to Cooley.

“They have been very happy with the reaction that they’re getting from customers,” he said. “When they get there, the customers are happy to know that the wait time was fairly close to what it said on the app.”

Cooley was impressed by the other students’ projects, including an app that provides users with a 3D model of DNA and one that helps to develop characters for writers.

“I think that was the purpose of app challenge, to get students to think outside the box, solve a problem and make it using new technology and skills that we have learned.”

Several major tech companies were at the event to see the apps and to meet their inventors.

“I talked to people from Microsoft, IBM, Apple, Oracle and Google,” Cooley said. “It was a bit like a recruiting fair; a chance for them to see the talent that is out there and where kids are going with their ideas.”

“If our nation is going to remain secure and prosperous, we will need some of the world’s top computer scientists and technology experts,” Congressman Ken Buck stated. “Brad is on his way to great things. I encourage him to keep up the good work and urge some of his peers to join him in studying a STEM field.” 

While in Washington, Cooley and his dad had the opportunity to meet Congressman Ken Buck at his office. Additionally, Buck plans to honor Cooley with an entry in the congressional record and will send him a congratulatory letter.

March 3, 2016 | By rmbarber | Category:

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.