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.  

Middle and high school 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 featured on the U.S. House of Representatives' website (www.house.gov) and Congressional App Challenge website, as well as displayed in a U.S. Capitol exhibit in Washington, D.C. 

Students should register for the competition by September 10, 2018. All App Challenge entries must be submitted by 12:00 pm (noon) (EST) on October 15, 2018. 


Student and Team Eligibility Requirements:

1.      Students must be in middle or high school at the time of the app submission. Students may NOT participate after graduating from high school. 

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

3.      Any given student may only compete once per year, in one district.

4.      Students may compete in either:         

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

5.      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.


Submission Requirements:

1.      Students must submit their apps by the required deadline: 12:00 pm (noon) (EST) on October 15, 2018.

2.      Students can use any programming language and any platform in which to design their app.

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 or 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.

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:


I am pleased to announce that the winners of the 3rd Congressional App Challenge are Rithwik Pattikonda and David Brooks for their app, "Juke - The SMS Powered Jukebox."  Both students attend Plano West Senior High School. I thank all our participants for their hard work and congratulate Rithwick and David on their user-friendly, timely app. I look forward to seeing your app featured on the U.S. House of Representatives website and in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.   

About the winning app, "Juke": "The aim of the app is to eliminate the aux cord and serve as a replacement for the DJ in parties. On long car rides, instead of passing the aux cord around the car, one simply has to text in a song request to hear their songs on the car stereo. In parties, to request a song, one simply needs to send in the song through text messaging. No DJ needed.”  To watch the video demonstration, CLICK HERE.