Cal Bruno
Meet Orbit: The Academic Organization App

TL;DR Two 15 year old students from Iowa, Ishika Desai and Nishita Gudipati, with the help of Bio::Neos co-founder Steve Davis, won the 2023 Congressional App Challenge in Iowa's First District, hosted by the House of Representatives. 


Meet "Orbit" - the app created by 15 year olds Ishika Desai and Nishita Gudipati from Pleasant Valley High School in Riverdale, Iowa. The app was made for 2023's Congressional App Challenge, an initiative created by the US House of Representatives. 

The Orbit splash page

Ishika and Nishita both wanted to enter the contest in June 2023, but had difficulty with the intricate details of coding an app. They then reached out to Bio::Neos' co-founder, Steve Davis, for help. Steve helped direct Ishika and Nishita in the process of using Android Studio to code an app.


Ishika and Nishita wanted their app to help students organize and plan their school work better. They commented on how stressful the transition to high school is - how trying to stay on top of assignments, remembering academic resources, staying focused, and prioritizing mental health is extremely challenging . Their solution was Orbit: an app that is a planner, resource management system, and a timer all in one. The planner allows users to input their class schedule and assignments in one calendar, allowing for students to easily organize their materials. The resource management system acts as a method for organizing all the links and databases that supplement students academically. The timer serves as a way for students to stay focused on one task at a time, incentivizing them to finish what they are working on. When asked about the significance of the name “Orbit”, Ishika and Nishita said that they often feel as if they have so much work orbiting around them, and thus, the name was made. After working extensively for months on Orbit, the app was ready to be submitted into the challenge.

There were 3,645 submissions of apps to the app challenge from across the nation, but Orbit was the clear winner for IA’s Congressional First District. Ishika and Nishita got the great news in early 2024, and reached out to Bio::Neos to inform us of their success. The girls will be visiting the U.S. Capital in April 2024 to present their app, but until then, the girls will be ensuring the app runs smoothly. There are going to be small changes to the app coding to prevent bugs.

The coding that Ishika and Nishita created with the help of Steve Davis.


When asked if Ishika and Nishita  want to continue thoroughly working on Orbit, the girls shared that they are curious to see how far Orbit can go - with the goal of Orbit reaching the Android App Store, and possibly creating an IOS version for Apple users. However, the girls are primarily focused on doing well in high school for the time being! 

Bio::Neos could not be more proud of Ishika and Nishita, and we are excited to see the things they accomplish in the upcoming years. They certainly have some bright futures ahead of them.