|About the Competition:
The Congressional App Challenge is designed to engage student creativity and encourage their participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education fields. This nationwide event allows high school students from across the country to compete against their peers by creating and exhibiting their software application, or "app," for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice. The mission of the Congressional App Challenge is to inspire, include and innovate efforts around STEM, coding and computer science education. The Challenge aims: 1) to inspire students from every corner of the country to explore STEM, coding and computer science through hands-on practice, 2) to actively include and engage students from communities that are traditionally underrepresented in the tech community, and 3) to innovate policymaking by connecting Members of Congress to new and emerging technologies through personal interactions with their student constituents. More information about the competition can be found at the Congressional App Challenge Website.
History of the Competition:
In 2013 leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives and at the Internet Education Foundation sought to foster an appreciation for computer science and STEM. That year House leadership brought to the floor and overwhelmingly passed House Resolution 77 – Academic Competition Resolution of 2013, 411 votes to 3. Representative Candice Miller, the Chairwoman of the Committee on House Administration and principal sponsor of the bill, spoke on the House floor about the need to inspire students to pursue careers in computer science (YouTube video).
Through House Resolution 77, the U.S. House of Representatives outlined the plans by which Representatives would host district-by-district computer science, or “app,” competitions every year for students. In October of 2015 the Committee on House Administration unanimously passed the rules and regulations allowing each Representative to host an “Officially-Sanctioned” computer science competition in their districts. The rules for “Officially-Sanctioned Competitions” are now ensconced in the Members’ Congressional Handbook.
The rules require that the bipartisan chairs of the Congressional Internet Caucus officially request a new officially-sanctioned “app” competition every Congress. The chairs also request that the Internet Education Foundation serve as the official outside “sponsor” of the competition. The Committee then grants the request in a letter and the Congressional App Challenge begins.
The first official Congressional App Challenge launched under the leadership of the inaugural CAC Co-Chairs Reps. Mimi Walters (R-CA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). In the first 3 years of the Challenge, the CAC reached nearly 9,000 students across 42 states.
A list of previous winners and video demonstrations of their apps can be found here.
How to Enter:
Every year I challenge students in Georgia’s Third District to create and submit their original apps for a chance to win the Congressional App Challenge. Each challenge is district-specific and there is a winner from my district every year. As a U.S. Representative, I publicly recognize the winning team and each winning app may be put on display in the U.S. Capitol Building for one year. Additional prizes may be available.
To enter the competition students must follow the registration process on the Congressional App Challenge Website under the registration section. To visit the registration portal click here. Once registered on the Congressional App Challenge website, the CAC will notify my office that you have registered and will handle the submission process to my office for you. Your submissions will be made directly in the CAC portal you create during registrations.
Should you have any questions about the challenge please do not hesitate to contact Jessica Eck in my Newnan District Office at 770-683-2033 or via email at Jessica.Eck@mail.house.gov.
App Challenge Timeline:
The app challenge usually launches in the beginning of June and allows for submissions through the middle of October. Judging will occur during the end of October with the winner being announced between early November and early December. These dates do fluctuate year to year and the exact dates for each year can be found here on the App Challenge website under the rules section.
Learning to Code:
The Congressional App Challenge would love to see all students learn to code, regardless of previous experience. We highly encourage students to participate even if they’ve never coded before!
For a list of educational resources on coding please click here. Remember that if one of the resources doesn’t work for you, there are many alternatives. Don’t get discouraged – just try another one!
Eligibility and Rules:
- There are NO LIMITS on application theme or topic! This means the sky is the limit. Design whatever type of app you would like in any style that you would like to design it.
- To be eligible to participate in the Congressional App Challenge, you must be a middle or high school student at the time of app submission.
- Students may register as individuals or as teams of up to four. No more than 4 students are allowed to form a team.
- Students may compete in the district they reside in or the district they attend school in.
- If competing as a team, at least two of the teammates must be eligible to compete in the district in which they are participating in.
- Students may submit any app they’ve created within the last calendar year, as long as the app meets the submission requirements.
- As part of the submission, each team or individual MUST submit a Demonstration Video (max of 3 min.) to demonstrate the app. Instruction for the video will be on the App Challenge Website. Examples of video submissions can be found here.
- The Challenge is subject to all applicable U.S. federal laws and regulations. Participation constitutes the entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to the Official Rules.
- A full list of rules can be found here.
District Office Contact:
My office stands ready to answer any of your questions during this competition. Should you have questions, or need any guidance please do not hesitate to reach out to my Congressional App Challenge coordinator, Jessica Eck, via phone at 770-683-2033 or via email at Jessica.Eck@mail.house.gov.