On Your Mark, Get Set, Code!: Congress Creates Congressional App Challenge for Students

Student coders urged to join programming competition

Kids, in case you missed the memo, it’s cool to code. And if you have any reservations, know that the government wants to support and recognize you in its newly-announced programming competition.

The US House of Representatives authorized the creation of the first annual Congressional App Challenge in a 411-3 vote last week. Modeled after the Congressional Art Competition, this competition will challenge high school and college students across the country to create code for mobile and desktop platforms.   With the demand for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) – related careers high, the goal of the apps challenge is to get young people to explore jobs in those fields.

Computer science related jobs now make up more than 1 in every 2 STEM jobs, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, the federal government predicts that US employers will need to fill 9.2 million STEM-related job openings during this decade, with more than half of those in computer-related occupations.

While the House Administration Committee still needs to develop guidelines for the app challenge, a panel will review students’ submissions and members of Congress will choose the best app submitted from within their district. Congress will formally honor the winners and the winning projects will be featured in the Capital.

“Each year, the competition will bring communities together and motivate students to pursue their interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) reports Mashable. “I look forward to the success of the Congressional Academic Competition and to seeing the creative ideas of America’s next generation of innovators.”

What do you think about the Congressional App Challenge?

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