The annual Congressional App Challenge is a nationwide event founded in 2013 in order to encourage student interest and participation in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) field.  Learning coding skills involved with app creation may also provide students with better long-term employment prospects in an increasingly technology-driven economy.  

K-12 students from across the country are invited to create and exhibit their software application – or “app” – for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice.  The Challenge is open to students regardless of their experience with coding, even if you have never coded before.  Don’t be afraid to learn something new! 

The app of the winning student or team in each participating congressional district will be displayed in a U.S. Capitol exhibit.


Student and Team Eligibility Requirements:

1.      Students are only eligible to compete in districts that have signed up for the Challenge.

2.      Any given student may only compete in one district.

3.      Students may compete in either:         

  • The district in which they reside, or
  • The district in which they attend school.

4.      Students may compete as individuals or in team of up to four.

  • Teams with five or more students will NOT be considered eligible.
  • If competing as a team: at least TWO of the teammates must be eligible to compete within the district in which they are submitting.

5.      There is no technical age minimum, but the App Challenge is intended for high school students.

6.      Students may NOT participate after having graduated from high school.


Submission Requirements:

1.      Students may submit their apps no later than November 1, 2017.

2.      The app students create may cover any topic, but they must:

  • Be original and appropriate.
  • Have been created within the calendar year prior to the Challenge closing date.


1.      Ensure you/your team meets all eligibility requirements.

2.      REGISTER HERE to compete. 
(Registration is through the Congressional App Challenge Website)

  • Students must fill out a sign-up form so their eligibility can be verified.
  • If students are competing as part of a team, the sign-up form must include the relevant information from each student.

3.      App Information:
Students will be asked to answer a series of questions, including:

  • Title of the app;
  • The coding language used;
  • What they were trying to accomplish and why;
  • An explanation of a difficulty they faced in programming the app and how it was overcome; and
  • What improvements the students would make if they were going to create a version 2.0 of their app.

4.      Demonstration Video:

  • Students must create a video (minimum one minute, maximum three minutes), post it on YouTube of Vimeo, and submit the link on the Congressional App Challenge submission form. 
  • The video must be set to public view.
  • Videos that are longer than three minutes will be penalized per the judges’ discretion.

5.      Review the Submission Checklist HERE.

6.      Have your Submission ID Number handy.


8.      Exit Questionnaire.

  • The exit questionnaire will be emailed to all students following the submission of their app.


For additional details, you can visit the Congressional App Challenge Website or contact Jessica Corder at (469) 304-0382 or via email at jessica.corder@mail.house.gov. 


Coding Resources:

Development Kits: