Bliss Chapman, 17 year-old Mobile Application Developer at Agrible™ (and creator of Pocket Rain Gauge™), recently won the annual US Congressional App Challenge for his district. The challenge, which began in 2014, aims to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in high school classrooms and motivates participants by offering the winner a display of their app in the Capitol for one year and an award presentation.
Along with working for Agrible™, Bliss is attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a non-degree seeking student and he plans to study Computer Science and Statistics full time in the fall. He and his teammate, Justin Loew, created a weather app called ‘Wonderful Weather’ for Apple TV as a Hackathon project at Northwestern University, where it won ‘best user experience.’ The same (yet slightly adjusted) app would later land Bliss a winning spot in the App Challenge.
After winning the challenge, Congressman Rodney Davis asked Bliss if he was interested in meeting with him in DC, to which Bliss politely declined, stating that all he wanted was a box of white house M&Ms and for them to “fix the gerrymandering so he can tell what district he actually lives in.”
Bliss has quite the knack for computer science and technology, and has written apps for CS125(Intro to Computer Science) at the U of I, not to mention Agrible’s handy rainfall app, Pocket Rain Gauge™.
Bliss first became interested in working with Agrible in 2014, when he met CEO Chris Harbourt at a career fair. After Chris told him his plans for Pocket Rain Gauge™, Bliss thought about ways in which he could work with him to help build the app, and has been building apps ever since. He mentioned, “There was a sign on the door to the Agrible™ office that said, ‘only fun happens here,’” and hasn’t looked back.
When I asked what his favorite part about weather data and technology was, Bliss said, “I enjoy figuring out how to display data in an understandable and user-friendly way. I also like how you can use [weather data] in so many different ways.”