AND THE WINNER IS ... A tasty Palo Alto tradition held every Fourth of July, the annual Chili Cook-off last week drew hundreds to Mitchell Park on Independence Day. Eleven teams went head to head for the title of Best Chili in the city, three of which were new to the competition. MB's Place ultimately came out on top, followed by Rat Rod Chili and Hung Over Chili who placed second and third, respectively. Other winners include Sound Bites, who was awarded with Best Decorated Booth and the Klemens Family, who took home both the People's Choice Award and Best Spirit. The city awarded more than $3,000 in cash to the winning teams picked by a panel of community members who served as judges for the event. Attendees of the event paid $5 for a ticket that included five tastings and a voting ballot. The cook-off brought out about 4,000 people, city officials said.
MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING ... The fast-growing Congressional App Challenge has returned to the 18th Congressional District for another year, giving local middle and high school students the opportunity to get creative with their knowledge in science, technology, engineering and math. The first contest was held in 2014 through a bipartisan initiative between Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, and Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia. Since then, the competition has grown to include 222 congressional districts across 46 states. To enter the competition, students must register on the contest's website and upload a short video about their app on either YouTube or Vimeo. Students can submit as individuals or as part of a team of up to four people, and must either reside or attend school within the district. The apps will be evaluated by a panel of judges within the academic, software and entrepreneurial industries. The winning team will receive a $250 Amazon gift card and their app will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol building and on the House.gov website. Menlo-Atherton senior Anna Quinlan won last year's competition with her app, "A Smarter Insulin Pump," which helps regulate a user's blood sugar levels by automatically dispensing insulin, notifying them when glucose levels drop too low and calculating the amount of carbohydrates they need to consume to return to normal levels. Submissions for this year's contest will be accepted through Nov. 1. More information about the contest can be found at eshoo.house.gov or congressionalappchallenge.us.
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