Student Opportunities

Congressman Hoyer's Office has three significant annual opportunities for student recognition: 

Congressional Art Competition 

Each spring, a nationwide high school arts competition is sponsored by the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Congressional Art Competition, which began in 1982, is an opportunity for Members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Over 650,000 high school students have been involved with the nationwide competition since its inception.

The Congressional Art Competition is open to all high school students. The overall winner of our District's competition will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol. The exhibit in Washington will also include artwork from other contest winners nationwide.

All emailed submissions should contain the images of the artwork and the Student Release form, which can be downloaded here. We understand that students may not be able to obtain the signed signature from an art teacher on the release form. If that is the case, students may include an email from an art teacher granting permission to enter the competition. When submitting, please include the students’ name, school, and title of their artwork in the subject line of the email. 

Art works entered in the contest may be up to 32 inches by 32 inches (including the frame) and may be up to 4 inches in depth. All entries must be original in concept, design and execution. The art work may be:

  • Paintings - including oil, acrylics, and watercolor
  • Drawings - including pastels, colored pencil, pencil, charcoal, ink, and markers
  • Collage
  • Prints - including lithographs, silkscreen, and block prints
  • Mixed Media
  • Computer Generated Art
  • Photography

Click here for more rules and guidelines for teachers and students. 

The Deadline to Enter the 2021 Congressional Art Competition is now April 30 

If you would like more information on the annual Congressional District Art Competition, please contact Ms. Jada Ward at 301-843-1577 or by email to

Academy Nominations

The Academies

There are five service academies in the United States which offer young men and women a free college education at highly-ranked, nationally-recognized academies, while preparing them for an officer's commission in the armed forces. The Air Force Academy, the Merchant Marine Academy, the Military Academy at West Point, and the Naval Academy all require a nomination from an authorized nominating source. The Coast Guard Academy is the only one of the armed forces service academies that offers appointments on the basis of an annual nationwide competition; there are no Congressional nominations.

Service Academy Nominations: Basic Facts

Acceptance at an academy involves a five year active duty commitment. If you do not graduate, different consequences will apply, depending upon the conditions of your resignation or removal, and when either occurs. Competition for appointments in the Fifth District is very steep. Therefore, you are encouraged to start the application process during the late spring of your junior year by contacting Congressman Hoyer's office and by applying through all available sources. These include the two United States Senators from the State of Maryland, the Vice President, and through the Branch of Service, if you are the child of a deceased or disabled veteran.


  • Must be at least 17 years of age, but not yet 23 years of age.
  • A citizen of the United States.
  • Unmarried, no legal obligation to support a child or dependent.
  • A legal resident of the Fifth Congressional District.

Basis for the nomination

  • Candidate's school record – the average competitive candidate is in the upper fifth of his/her class.
  • Extracurricular activities, including athletics, community service, and school organizations.
  • SAT/ACT scores – a competitive candidate must score above 560 on verbal, and 600 on math. *Scores are not required by Congressman Hoyer this year due to the pandemic
  • Interview with Congressman Hoyer's Service Academy Selection Board, which are held during the month of November and eligible candidates will be notified of the date in October.
  • You must also complete the appropriate application process with each academy of interest to you.

The Office of Congressman Hoyer is hosting a virtual information session about the military service academies on Tuesday, May 18 at 5:00 p.m. Interested students should RSVP to by Saturday, May 16. 

Applications for 2021 can be completed online here.

Congressional App Competition 

The Congressional App Competition, a competition designed to engage a student’s creativity and encourage their participation in computer science, was established by Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013. The competition is a nationwide event that allows high school students from across the country to compete by creating and exhibiting their software application, or “app,” for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice.

The “Congressional App Challenge” is open to all high school and middle school students and all those eligible to attend public high school or middle school in Maryland's 5th Congressional District. Students may work individually or in teams of up to four.  All entries must be original in concept, design,and execution.  Students entering the competition must register in advance to show their intent to participate (directions below), and then submit their app’s source code along with a YouTube or VIMEO video that demos/explains their app and what they learned through this competition. 

The 2020 Congressional App Challenge is now closed. 

Resources for Students and Teachers

App Challenge FAQs

  • What is the Congressional App Challenge?
    Established by Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, the Congressional App Challenge is a nationwide event that invites high school students to compete by creating and exhibiting their software application, or “app,” for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice. The competition is designed to engage the creativity of students and encourage their participation in computer science. 
  • Who can participate?
    High school and middle school students who live in or are eligible to attend public schools located in the Maryland's 5th Congressional District can participate. To confirm your eligibility, please visit
  • What if I don't live in Maryland's 5th Congressional District? 
    You can enter your home address on to see if your local Congressman/Congresswoman is participating in the competition. 
  • Can home-schooled students participate?
    Yes. Any high school or middle school student who lives in Maryland's 5th Congressional District or is eligible to attend public high school in the district can compete.
  • Can students submit in teams?
    Yes. The maximum team size is four students, two of whom must reside in or be eligible to attend public high school in Maryland's 5th Congressional District.
  • When can I register and how can I submit my entry?
    Participating students must first confirm eligibility and register on  All entries must be an original in concept, design and execution.
  • When will the contest occur?
    Students must submit their apps by October 19, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. to be considered. 
  • What must contestants submit for consideration?
    Participating students must submit a demonstration video of their app along with a copy of the source code for inspection by the judges.
  • How will my app be judged?
    Apps will be judged based on the following criteria: Quality of the idea, including creativity and originality; implementation of the idea, including user experience and design; and demonstrated excellence of coding and programming skills.
  • How will the winners be recognized?
    Winners will be recognized in a congressional district awards ceremony with Congressman Hoyer. The winner from Maryland's 5th Congressional District will be featured on, and the winning app will also be on display in the U.S. Capitol to honor the winners from across the country. All applicants will be invited to the awards ceremony to meet Congressman Hoyer and receive official Congressional certificates to note their participation.
  • Does my app or program need to be fully functional to submit?
    No.  Each student must submit at least a video that describes a well thought-out idea for an app and some source code that implements the idea to some degree.  The degree to which your app is fully functional will certainly be considered by the judges when selecting a winner, along with the other factors listed above. 
  • What if I still have a question that isn't listed on this list of FAQs?
    Contact with any further questions on the app competition for Maryland's 5th Congressional District.