Nextgov - House Launches App Challenge to Inspire Science and Technology Careers

February 6, 2014
In The News

By Brittany Ballenstedt

The House of Representatives is hoping a new app development competition will spark interest among high school students in science, technology, engineering and math fields.
The House App Challenge – established by House members in 2013 – is calling on students in participating districts to compete by creating and exhibiting their own software application for mobile, tablet or computer devices. The goal is to promote innovation and engagement in STEM fields.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity for students in our congressional district, and I’m excited about helping to foster their interest in science, technology, engineering and math education,” said Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., co-chair of the nationwide competition, in a statement.
Eshoo pointed to the projected shortage of roughly 1 million STEM graduates over the next decade, the same period in which an estimated 8.5 million new STEM job opportunities are expected to open. She, along with co-chair Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and other lawmakers in participating districts, hope the app challenge will encourage more students to pursue an education in STEM fields.
Students can compete either individually or in teams of up to four students to develop their app submission. Participants must submit a demonstration video of their app with an entry form, along with the source code of the app for inspection by the judges. Judges will rate the apps on quality, creativity, implementation and demonstrated excellence of coding and programming skills.
Students participating in the competition also will have opportunities to engage with STEM education partners located within their communities to mentor and assist them with their app development.
Winners will be recognized in a congressional district awards ceremony and on the House App Challenge website. The winning app also will be on display in the U.S Capitol.