Congress Hosts App Creation Competition

The Congressional App Challenge provides students the opportunity to show off their coding skills and receive recognition.

Next week, the United States Congress is launching its second annual Congressional App Challenge. The competition is open to all high school students, even those without coding experience, in an effort to encourage students to learn to code by creating their own applications.

The competition was launched by the Congressional Internet Caucus, a bipartisan group of more than 110 members of the House and Senate, and coordinated by the nonprofit organization Internet Education Foundation. Students can create their apps on any platform, working alone or in a team of up to four individuals. A panel of local computer science professionals and congressional representatives will judge the apps.

Last year, more than 1,700 students from 32 states signed up for the competition and close to 500 original apps were submitted. Each of the 116 districts that participated selected one winner. Apps that won ranged from a productivity-tracking app called TickTock, to an app that helps feed the homeless called Hungry Hungry Helpers.

The official contest page offers several resources to help students begin coding their apps:

In addition to equipping students with essential programming skills, the competition aims to shine light on careers in STEM and computer science.

"We are currently on track to reach a million unfilled programming jobs by 2020. These jobs and skills are crucial to the innovation economy," said Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts congressman and co-chair for the competition.

Ed Royce, a California congressman, is another co-chair for the contest. "I know how important a STEM proficient workforce is to the United States remaining an economic powerhouse. I encourage all of my colleagues to participate in the Congressional App Challenge, an excellent opportunity to recognize talented young people learning the skills being used to build the future,” said Royce.

The 2016 Congressional App Challenge will take place from July 18 to November 2. The House of Representatives will display the winning apps on the HOR webpage and apps will be on display in the Capitol Building.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].