JANESVILLE, WISCONSIN—Bryan Steil announced an innovative challenge for middle school and high school students to grow interest in coding and computer technology. The national Congressional App Challenge is now accepting registrants from Wisconsin’s First Congressional District for this year’s competition.

“I am excited to help bring the Congressional App Challenge to students in Southeast Wisconsin. This is an innovative way for kids to be creative, learn new skills, and become involved in the STEM field at an early age. The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated the importance of understanding technology and adapting to new school and working environments. I hope students take advantage of this opportunity! I look forward to seeing your apps,” said Steil.

The Congressional App Challenge is open to middle school and high school students who reside or go to school in Wisconsin’s First Congressional District. Students may compete as individuals or in teams of up to four. Students should register by September 1, 2020.  Student can register by visiting the Congressional App Challenge website at: https://www.congressionalappchallenge.us/ and visit the “Students” section. Congressional App Challenge applications can be submitted now through 11:00 am CT, October 19, 2020.


The winner will be selected by a panel of judges from Wisconsin’s First Congressional District and honored by Congressman Steil in December. The winning app is eligible to be featured on display in the United States Capitol building, on house.gov, and on the Congressional App Challenge website.


App parameters:

  • TOPIC:  The app can be about any topic.
  • PLATFORM: The app can be on any platform (web app, desktop/PC app, a web browser extension, robot, Ruby on Rails, mobile, etc.)
  • PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE: Use any programming language: C/C++, Objective C, C#, Java, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, PHP, Swift, “block code”, etc.
  • FUNCTIONALITY: The app must have some degree of functionality to be competitive.
  • CONTENT SUITABILITY: The app cannot be indecent, defamatory, in obvious bad taste, demonstrate a lack of respect for public morals or conduct, adversely affect the reputation of congressional districts, or depict hatred, defame, or threaten a specific community in the society or incite violence. Apps containing pornography, obscenity or sexual activity are prohibited. The app must not violate the Intellectual Property, common law or privacy rights of other parties.
  • ORIGINALITY: The app must be original and solely owned by the contestant such that no other party has any rights or interest, whether known or unknown.

Submissions will be scored by a panel of judges using the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of computer programming skills
  • Quality of the idea
  • Implementation of the idea

The Congressional App Challenge was created because Congress recognized that STEM skills, particularly those surrounding coding and computer science, are essential for America’s continued economic growth and technological innovation.  The House of Representatives knows how crucial these skills are and wants to encourage students to engage in these fields.  By encouraging and recognizing our nation’s young programming talent, Congress hopes to shine a light on the growing importance of these skills.  The Congressional App Challenge is sponsored by the Internet Education Foundation.

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