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Congressional App Challenge



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

Congressional District.

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.

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

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. 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 . 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.


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.)

5. Deadline

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

District Judges.

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.

8. Prizes

1. The winning app in each district will be featured on the website and the website.

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


13. Privacy

Administrators collect personal information from you when you enter the Competition.

The information collected is subject to the privacy policies located at


Competition Results

For results of the competition check during Computer

Science Education Week, or thereafter.

14. Administrators

The Internet Education Foundation, 1140 G St NW, Washington, DC, 20005