Below, you can find answers to some of the questions we’ve heard most often. If you can’t find the answer to your question in the Rules section or these FAQ, please send us an email at studentsupport@CongressionalAppChallenge.us.
Q: Am I eligible to participate in the Congressional App Challenge?
A: You are eligible if you live or attend school in a participating district, and have not graduated from high school.
To be eligible to participate in the Congressional App Challenge, you must fulfill the following requirements:
- You must reside or attend school in a district with a participating Representative.
- You must be eligible to attend high school in the district in which you’re competing.
- (If you attend school in a different district than the one in which you reside, you may compete in either district, but you may only compete in one.)
Q: My zip code has more than one representative. How do I figure out which district I’m in?
A: You must look up the Member who represents your zip code, using the additional 4 digits.
- Go to this website, and enter your address: http://1.usa.gov/1ltSLIp
- That link will give you the addition 4-digit code that goes to the end of your zip code. Copy that number.
- Go to this link: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
- Enter the zip code you copied, including the extra 4 digits.
- You should know be able to see exactly who your Congressional Representative is.
Q: What if my Member of Congress isn’t participating?
A: Ask them to sign up, and then let us know.
If you let your Member of Congress know that you’re interested, they’ll probably sign up. You can use our sample letters and send your Representative an email, or you can write to them on social media. We’ve found that tweeting at your Member is a pretty successful way to go!
After you’ve contacted them, let our Congressional Affairs Director know, and she can reach out to the Congressional Office as well.
Q: Do I need to have experience to participate?
A: Absolutely not.
This Challenge is meant to get kids to learn how to code. You don’t have to have any prior experience to participate.
Q: Can I participate as part of a team?
Check the FAQ section on Teams for more details.
Q: Can I participate as part of a team?
A: Yes! You can participate in teams of up to four (4).
Students are allowed to submit apps in teams of up to four (4) students, provided that at least two of the teammates are eligible to participate in the district the team competing in. Teams with more than four Members will not be considered eligible.
Q: What if my teammates and I live in different districts?
A: That’s alright, as long as at least 2 of the teammates are eligible to participate in the same district.
For example, if you and your teammate live in different districts, but attend the same high school, your team would be eligible to participate in the district your high school is located in (as long as that Member of Congress has signed up.) If you and your teammate live in different districts and go to school in different districts, you will not be eligible to compete as a team.
Q: What if two of us worked on an app together, but aren’t eligible in the same district. Can we both submit the app to our own districts, as individuals?
Any app created may only be submitted to the Congressional App Challenge once. This is to make sure that students can’t just submit an app they created as many times as possible, to get a better chance of winning.
Q: Is it ok if the members of our team go to different schools or are in different grades?
As long as at least two of the teammates are eligible to participate in the district you’re competing in, then it’s fine if you go to different schools or are in different grades.
Q: Is there an age requirement to participate in the Congressional App Challenge?
Students who have graduated from high school will not be eligible to compete, but there is no age minimum for students to participate.
Q: Do I have to create a specific type of app?
You can create an app about whatever topic you’re passionate about, whether it’s a game or a tool, on whatever platform you like.
Q: What are the requirements for the app?
A: Submissions must:
- Be original;
- Be solely owned by Contestant such that no other party has any rights or interest, whether known or unknown;
- Have been created within the last year (i.e. since November 2, 2015).
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 district:
- Be illegal under applicable laws;
- Depict hatred, defame, threaten a specific community in the society or incite violence;
- Contain vulgar language or violence; or
- Contain pornography, obscenity or sexual activity.
- Violate the Intellectual Property, common law or privacy rights of other parties.
Q: Can my app be a web app, or does it have to be a mobile app?
A: You can create any type of app, mobile, web, desktop or anything else.
The majority of students have chosen to create mobile apps in the past, but you are free to use whatever platform you like. It won’t have any impact on the judging process.
Q: I created an app for a different project or program. Can I submit that app to the competition?
Students are allowed to submit apps that they created for other programs or projects, as long as it meets the other eligibility requirements listed above.
Q: Do I have to submit a fully developed app, or can I just submit an idea for an app?
A: This is a coding competition, so your app should have some level of functionality.
Q: How many apps can I submit?
Q: How will our apps be judged?
A: Your apps will be judged based on quality of the idea; implementation of the idea; and demonstrated excellence of coding and programming skills.
- Quality of the idea (including creativity and originality)
- Implementation of the idea (including user experience and design);
- Demonstrated excellence of coding and programming skills.
Q: Who will judge our apps?
A: Panels of local judges.
Your Member of Congress will recruit local tech professionals, teachers, and entrepreneurs, who will watch your videos, read your question answers, and judge your submissions.