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Congressional App Challenge

This year marks the second annual Congressional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academic Competition, the “Congressional App Challenge.”

This competition is designed to engage student creativity and encourage their participation in STEM education fields. Established by Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, this competition is part of a nationwide event that allows high school students from across the country to compete by creating and exhibiting their own software application, or ‘app,' for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice. It is designed to promoted innovation and engagement in STEM education fields.

Apps are judges based on the following criteria: quality of the idea, implementation of the idea, including user experience and design, and demonstrated excellence of coding and programming skills.

The Congressional App Challenge is open to all high school students in the Third Congressional District of Arkansas.  Students entering the competition must submit their app’s source code online during the Competition Submission Period between 12:00 PM EST on November 9, 2015, and 11:59 PM EST on January 21, 2016, as well as provide a YouTube or VIMEO video demo explaining their app and what they learned through this competition process.

The winner from the Third Congressional District will be featured on StudentAppChallenge.us, and the winning app will also be on display in the U.S. Capitol along with the apps of other the winners from across the country.

For more information, please visit the official Congressional App Challenge website at CongressionalAppChallenge.us or contact Chris Bader at 479-424-1146.



Background: The Congressional App Challenge (CAC) was created because Congress recognized that STEM skills are essential for economic growth and innovation, that the IS has been falling behind on these fronts. STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17% between 2008 and 2018, compared to 9.8% growth for non-STEM occupations and according to some estimates, the U.S. may be short as many as 3 million high-skilled workers by 2018. 


Step 1: Check Your Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in the Congressional App Challenge, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • You must reside or attend school in Arkansas’s Third Congressional District. (You can see which district you live in here, and you can check which districts are participating here.)
  • You must be 13 years of age by or on November 9, 2015.
  • You must be eligible to attend high school in the district in which you’re competing. (If you attend school in a different district than the one in which you reside, you may compete in either district, but you may only submit an app in one district.)
  • If you are competing in a team: at least two of the students in your team must reside or attend high school in Arkansas’s Third Congressional District.


Step 2: Register on Challenge.gov

Challenge.gov is the platform that hosts our app submissions. Though you can see all the challenges that are posted on Challenge.gov without registering, you must actually register in order to submit your own app. The registration process should only take 2 or 3 minutes.


Step 3: CREATE!

Once you’re all signed up, you can move ahead with creating your app! The specific details about what type of apps you can create can be found on the Challenge.gov page. If you want some help getting started, you can check out Congressional App Challenge’s resources page here.


Step 4: Submit Your App

Once your app is done, you can submit it on challenge.gov. You can submit your app any time from November 9th, 2015, until 11:59 PM EST on January 21, 2016.

The judging period will last from January 21– February 15, 2016. After that, the winners will be announced and will have their apps featured on a display in the U.S. Capitol Building, as well as on the Congressional App Challenge website.


Step 5: Fill out the exit form on CongressionalAppChallenge.US

After you’ve submitted your app on Challenge.gov, we’ll email you a final questionnaire. This brief questionnaire is the final step required for your submission to be complete.

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