Press Release

2015 Congressional App Challenge Launches
Congress Moves To Foster Youth Computer Science Skills, District by District

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release
November 9, 2015
Contact: Rhianon Anderson, (202) 638-4370
randerson@CongressionalAppChallenge.us
Congressional App Challenge
www.CongressionalAppChallenge.us

WASHINGTON, DC – The Congressional App Challenge, a congressional initiative to improve student engagement in coding and computer science, is launching today and will run through January 15, 2016.

Representatives Mimi Walters and Hakeem Jeffries co-chair the 2015 Congressional App Challenge (CAC). Over a third of the House of Representatives have signed up to host student app contests in their districts. Currently, 149 Representatives from 39 states have signed up, and more are expected to do so in the coming days.

During the next 10 weeks, high school students in participating Congressional districts will create and submit their own original “apps” that will be judged by panels of local judges. The Judging Period will last from January 16 to February 12, 2016 and the Members of Congress will announce the winners on February 22, 2016. Winners will be honored by their Member of Congress and have their apps featured on a display in the Capitol building.

In 2014, students from 84 districts submitted apps in their local contests; this year, we aim to expand upon that success by doubling the number of submissions. Recognizing the racial, gendered, and other disparities in the tech sector, the CAC will also emphasize inclusivity. Deliberate efforts will be made to include students from all backgrounds, including those traditionally underrepresented in the tech community.

The CAC was created by the U.S. House of Representatives to engage U.S. high school students in coding and computer science. The CAC was created because Congress recognizes how essential computer science and STEM skills are for economic growth and innovation, and that the U.S. is currently experiencing a dearth of adequately trained technical talent. According to some estimates, the U.S. may be short as many as 3 million high-skilled workers by 2018. The CAC is a congressional effort to maintain American competitiveness, by proactively inspiring our youth and encouraging them to pursue these crucial STEM-based skills.

The 2015 CAC is only possible thanks to the leadership of the House of Representatives over the last several years. Specifically, Committee on House Administration Chairwoman Candice Miller and Ranking Member Robert Brady worked hard to authorize the CAC and Representatives Bob Goodlatte and Anna G. Eshoo, co-chairs of the Congressional Internet Caucus, requested the creation of the CAC (they also served as its inaugural co-chairs in 2014). Of course, this year Representatives Mimi Walters and Hakeem Jeffries are serving as the CAC co-chairs.

For further information about the Congressional App Challenge, please visit CongressionalAppChallenge.us. If you are interested in getting more involved or in supporting the Congressional App Challenge, please contact Rhianon Anderson at randerson@congressionalappchallenge.us.

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