Congressional App Challenge

Congressional App Challenge

This year marks the second annual Congressional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academic Competition, the “Congressional App Challenge.” This competition is designed to engage student creativity and encourage their participation in STEM education fields. Established by Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, this competition is part of a nationwide event that allows high school students from across the country to compete by creating and exhibiting their software application, or “app,” for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice. It is designed to promote innovation and engagement in STEM education fields. Apps are judged based on the following criteria: quality of the idea, including creativity and originality; implementation of the idea, including user experience and design; and demonstrated excellence of coding and programming skills.

The Congressional App Challenge is open to all high school students in the Fifth Congressional District of Virginia. Students entering the competition must submit their app’s source code online during the Competition Submission Period between 12 PM (noon) Eastern Standard Time on NOVEMBER 9TH, 2015, and 3:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on JANUARY 21ST, 2016, as well as provide a YouTube or VIMEO video demo explaining their app and what they learned through this competition process.

The winner from the Fifth Congressional District of Virginia, chosen by an independent panel of expert judges, will be featured on, and the winning app will also be on display in the U.S. Capitol, honoring the winners from across the country.

For more information, please visit the official Congressional App Challenge website at or contact Lauren Andrews at Lauren.Andrews@Mail.House.Gov.

Contest Guidelines

Student Eligibility

1. The Competition is open only to high school students who reside in a participating district or who are eligible to attend public high school in that district. Individuals submitting on behalf of teams must meet the eligibility requirements for individual contestants.

2. Participants must be at least 13 years old as of November 9th, 2015.

3. Participants may compete individually or in teams of up to 4 students. If students attend school outside of their home congressional district, they may compete in either their home district or their school district. If competing as a team, 2 members of the team must qualify in the the same district they are applying in.

4. The Competition is subject to all applicable United States federal laws and regulations. Participation constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Offcial Rules.

5. A student may only submit one application, either as an individual or as part of a team. They may only submit an app in one district.

When Can Students Enter The Challenge?

Students may begin working on their apps as soon as they like, but the “Competition Submission Period” will start at 12:00 PM (noon) Eastern Standard Time, NOVEMBER 9TH, 2015 and be closed at 3:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, JANUARY 21ST, 2016. Administrator’s computer is the offcial time keeping device for this Competition.

How Do Students Enter Their App?

1. Online Requirements:

  • Each Contestant will be required to provide the following as part of the Submission on VA05's page on
  • The source code of their application
  • A link to the Application Demonstration Video. Please note that your entry may be judged in its entirety based on this video. It is important to demonstrate the scope and quality of your application in this video. The participant should also describe how they created the app and what they learned. No more than three minutes in length.

2. All submissions must be in English.

3. An individual may appear on only one entry, either alone or as part of a team.

4. Submissions must not be indecent, defamatory, in obvious bad taste, demonstrate a lack of respect for public morals or conduct or adversely affects the reputation of congressional districts.

5. Submissions must not:

  • Be illegal under applicable laws;
  • Depict hatred, defame, threaten a specific community in the society or incite violence;
  • Contain vulgar language or violence;
  • Contain pornography, obscenity or sexual activity; or
  • Violate the Intellectual Property, common law or privacy rights of other parties.

6. Submissions must:

  • Be original;
  •  Have been created within one calendar year of the closing of the Submission Period, i.e. since JANUARY 15th, 2015; and
  • Be solely owned by Contestant such that no other party has any rights or interest, whether known or unknown.

7. Contestants will own the intellectual property rights to their Submission, but will grant to Congress and Administrator a royalty free license to, without limitation:

  • Post the submissions online;
  • Make the Winners available for the course of the Competition and 1 months after the conclusion of the Competition Submission Period; and
  • Utilize the Submissions for noncommercial purposes for a period of 12 months after the conclusion of the Competition Submission Period

8. After the Submission Period has ended, the Submission cannot be modified in any way before the completion of judging.

Resources for Students and Teachers