Congressional App Challenge
PURPOSE OF THE CAC
The Congressional App Challenge (CAC) is an annual competition hosted by members of Congress to encourage students in their district to learn how to code. The winners get to go to Washington, DC for a reception and a two-day event called House of Code, their work is displayed in the Capitol Building, and they get other prizes.
The district-wide competition, now in its fifth year, takes place from July 8, 2019 through November 1, 2019.
The CAC is executed by the Congressional staff of each participating district, and coordinated by the Congressional Internet Caucus and the non-governmental sponsor of the project, the Internet Education Foundation (IEF).
All students in middle school or high school who have written an app for any platform are eligible to participate. Students may submit apps individually, or in teams of up to four students, but no student may submit more than one app.
● AGE: Students must be in middle school or high school on November 1st, 2019.
● LOCATION: Students are only allowed to compete in a Congressional District
which is hosting an App Challenge. Students may compete in either the district in
which they reside, or the district in which they attend school. Participants may
compete only in one single district.
● TEAMS: Students can compete as individuals, or in teams of up to four (4) students.
○ Any team with more than four (4) students is not eligible to compete.
○ At least two teammates on any team must live or attend school in the same
● PRIOR PROJECTS: Students may submit any app they’ve created within the last
calendar year, as long as the app meets the submission requirements.
● ONE ENTRY PER PERSON PER YEAR: Students may only submit ONE app.
2. Online Registration
Go to website: https://www. congressionalappchallenge.us
To register as an individual, students need:
● a personal email address that is not their school email account
● home’s 9-digit zip code, Congressional District, and Member of Congress
● school’s 9-digit zip code, Congressional District, and Member of Congress
● A parent or guardian’s contact information (name and email address).
● Name and email of student’s coding teacher or mentor (optional)
To register as a team, you’ll need:
● The above information for each team member.
● One team may participate ONCE as a group.
3. 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
● 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. Contain 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.
4. Online Submission
Consult the Submission Checklist for guidance. After the Submission Period has ended,
the Submission cannot be modified in any way.
Students can register for the 2019 Congressional App Challenge at
congressionalappchallenge.us . If competing as a team, one teammate should create the
team profile, which will allow for that user to invite up to three other team members to
edit the application. Students will need to complete a personal profile and eligibility quiz.
If the team is eligible, they will receive an email allowing them to proceed with their
application. The application is made up of a number of questions regarding their app. The
most critical component is the demonstration video, which is detailed below.
DEMONSTRATION VIDEO (max 3 min)
Students must create a demonstration video with the following information:
● The name(s) of each participant
● The name of the app
● Clearly explain the purpose of the app (Students should do this in one, clear sentence)
● Explain the app’s target audience (who the app is intended for?)
● The tools and coding languages used to create the app
● Show how the app works
The video should be 1-3 minutes long. Video submissions which do not adhere to the time
constraints may be penalized by the judges at their discretion. This is not a video-creation
competition. However, the judges view the demonstration video to learn about the app.
The video should be as clear and compelling as possible.
Upload the completed video to YouTube, Vimeo, or any other video-hosting site. The
video must be set to “public”.
In addition to the demonstration video, the team needs to answer the following questions:
1. Title of the App.
2. Explain the app’s purpose in ONE sentence (140 characters max).
3. Short Description: What inspired you to create this app? (200 characters max)
4. Short Description: What is your app trying to accomplish? (200 characters max)
5. What technical/coding difficulty did you faced in programming your app, and how
did you address this technical challenge? (1500 characters max.)
The Congressional App Challenge will accept submissions from
July 8 – November 1 (11:59pm EST, Friday, November 1st, 2019)
6. Exit Questionnaire
Once the app is submitted, students will receive a link to the Exit Questionnaire. The
data helps us improve the Congressional App Challenge.
Teams: ALL MEMBERS of your team must complete the Exit Questionnaire
individually. Teammates can use the same link, but must complete the form
7. Winner Selection
1. Demonstration Videos and Submission Answers will be reviewed and evaluated by
2. Awards will be judged based on the following criteria:
a. Quality of the idea (including creativity and originality)
b. Implementation of the idea (including user experience and design)
c. Demonstrated excellence of coding and programming skills.
3. The Judges have the right to request access to the App and source code in person
or via any reasonable manner to verify that the App functions and operates as
stated in the Submission Form. Failure by a Contestant to honor such a request will
result in the Submission’s immediate disqualification.
4. District Staff reserve the right to substitute or modify the judging panel at anytime
for any reason. Judges do have the right to withdrawal without advance notice in
the event of extenuating circumstances beyond their control. Judges will be fair
and impartial. A judge may elect to recuse him or herself from judging a Submission,
if in the judge’s sole discretion it is not appropriate for him or her to judge that
particular Submission because of a past or current relationship with that particular
Contestant. A Submission will not be at a disadvantage if one or more judge
recuses himself or herself.
5. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible Submissions received and the
quality of the Submissions.
1. The winning app in each district will be featured on the House.gov website and the
2. If the winner is not able to attend a district awards ceremony, the prize will be
mailed to the winner’s address within 45 days of receipt of the signed affidavit(s) of
eligibility and liability/publicity release(s) form(s).
3. The Program Administrator (the Internet Education Foundation) may distribute
additional prizes equally to all participating Congressional Districts.
4. Each district may provide prizes to district winners. A Member of Congress’ office
may provide authorized gifts or awards of nominal value as part of the app
competition. Gifts authorized by the Members of Congress’ Handbook include
certificates, folders, and frames of a nominal value.
9. Entry Conditions and Release
By entering, participants agree to the following conditions and release:
Each Contestant agrees to comply with and be bound by these Official Rules and the
decisions of the Administrators, and/or the Competition judges which are binding and
final in all matters relating to this Competition.
10. Publicity and Intellectual Property
Except where prohibited, participation in the Competition constitutes participant’
consent to Administrators’ and their agents’ use of winner’s name, likeness, photograph,
voice, opinions and/or hometown and state for promotional purposes in any media,
worldwide, without further payment or consideration.
Contestants will own the intellectual property rights to their Submission, but will grant to
Congress and the Administrator a royalty free license, without limitation, to
● 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 after the conclusion of the
Competition Submission Period.
11. General Conditions
1. Administrators reserve the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the
Competition, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures or any other factor
beyond Administrator’s reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper
functioning of the Competition, as determined by Administrators in their sole
discretion. Administrators reserve the right in their sole discretion to disqualify
any individual or Competitor they find to be tampering with the entry process or
the operation of the Competition or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules
or any other promotion or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner.
2. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of
the Competition may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an
attempt be made, Administrators reserves the right to seek damages from any such
person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Administrators’ failure to enforce
any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.
12. Limitations of Liability
The Administrators are not responsible for:
1. Any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrants, printing
errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the
2. Technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions,
interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software;
3. Unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the
4. Technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the
Competition or the processing of entries; or
5. Any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or
indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Competition or
receipt or use or misuse of any prize.
If for any reason an entrant’s Submission is confirmed to have been erroneously deleted,
lost, or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, entrant’s sole remedy is to provide another
Administrators collect personal information from you when you enter the Competition.
The information collected is subject to the privacy policies located at
For results of the competition check CongressionalAppChallenge.us during Computer
Science Education Week, or thereafter.
The Internet Education Foundation, 1140 G St NW, Washington, DC, 20005