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High School App Competition

This year marks the fourth annual Congressional App Competition, a competition designed to engage student’s creativity and encourage their participation in computer science. Established by Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, this 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 students (and all those eligible to attend public high 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, by 11:59 PM ET on November 1, 2017.

For the first time there is an award of $50,000 in Amazon Web Services (AWS) credits that can be used for AWS cloud computing services, to be split by the winners across the country. Depending on the number of districts who end up participating, the Maryland Fifth District winner will likely receive $200-$300 of this prize. This donation will provide the students the resources they need to keep pursuing their skills long after the challenge ends.

To Register

Although there is no registration deadline, students who decide to participate should register as soon as possible in order to receive more information about the competition.  All participating students must register on the following website: http://www.congressionalappchallenge.us/ 

Resources for Students and Teachers

House Student 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 sceince.  
  • Who can participate?
    • High 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 http://www.congressionalappchallenge.us
  • What if I don't live in Maryland's 5th Congressional District?  
  • Can home-schooled students participate?
    • Yes. Any high 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?
  • When will the contest occur?
    • Students can register and submit an entry from July 26, 2017 until November 1, 2017. Judging will take place in November and district winners will be announced soon after.
  • 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 Hoyer.house.gov, http://www.congressionalappchallenge.us, 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.
    • There is also an award of $50,000 in Amazon Web Services (AWS) credits that can be used for AWS cloud computing services, to be split by the winners across the country. Depending on the number of districts who end up participating, the Maryland Fifth District winner will likely receive $200-$300 of this prize. 
  • 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 stephen.dwyer@mail.house.gov on Congressman Steny Hoyer's staff with any further questions on the app competition for Maryland's 5th Congressional District.  
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