2018 Rules

The complete rule book is at the bottom of this page.

RULES — GENERAL OVERVIEW:

  • Students must be in middle or high school at the time of app submission.
    • Students may not participate after having graduated from high school.
  • A student may only compete once per year, in one district.
  • Students may compete in either:
    • the district in which they reside, or
    • the district in which they attend school.
  • Students are only eligible to compete in districts which are holding a Challenge.
  • Students may compete as individuals or in teams of up to four.
    • If competing as a team: at least two of the teammates must be eligible to compete within the district in which they are submitting.
  • No limits on application theme or topic.
  • Students can use any programming language (example: C, C++, Java, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, “block code”, etc).
  • Students may use any platform (PC, web, tablet, robot, mobile, etc.)

  • Teammate 1 lives/attends school in District A
    Teammate 2 lives/attends school in District A
    Teammate 3 lives/attends school in District A
    Teammate 4 lives/attends school in District B

    ✔   PARTICIPATE IN DISTRICT A.

    Teammate 1 lives/attends school in District A
    Teammate 2 lives/attends school in District A
    Teammate 3 lives/attends school in District B
    Teammate 4 lives/attends school in District C

    ✔   PARTICIPATE IN DISTRICT A

    Teammate 1 lives/attends school in District A
    Teammate 2 lives/attends school in District A
    Teammate 3 lives/attends school in District B

    ✔   PARTICIPATE IN DISTRICT A

    Teammate 1 lives/attends school in District A
    Teammate 2 lives/attends school in District A

    ✔   PARTICIPATE IN DISTRICT A

    Teammate 1 lives/attends school in District A
    Teammate 2 lives/attends school in District A
    Teammate 3 lives/attends school in District B
    Teammate 4 lives/attends school in District B

    ✔   PARTICIPATE IN DISTRICT A or B.

    Teammate 1 lives/attends school in District A
    Teammate 2 lives/attends school in District B
    Teammate 3 lives/attends school in District C
    Teammate 4 lives/attends school in District D

    ✕   This team is not eligible

    Teammate 1 lives/attends school in District A
    Teammate 2 lives/attends school in District B
    Teammate 3 lives/attends school in District C

    ✕ This team is not eligible

    Teammate 1 lives/attends school in District A
    Teammate 2 lives/attends school in District B

    ✕ This team is not eligible.

  • Download in PDF format.

    1.Eligibility

    • AGE: Students must be in middle school or high school at the time of submission. Students may not participate after having graduated high school.
    • LOCATION: Students are only allowed to compete in a Congressional District which is hosting a 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.
    • U.S. LAWS: The Challenge is subject to all applicable U.S. federal laws and regulations. Participation constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to the Official Rules.  
    • TIME KEEPING: The Director’s computer is the official timekeeping device for this Competition.

    2. Online Registration

    To register as an individual, students need:

    To register as a team, you’ll need:

    • The above information for each team member.
    • One team may participate ONCE as a group.

    Within 3 business days of registering online, students will receive an email from [email protected] with your Submission ID Number.  

    Save your Student Submission ID Number. You will need it to submit your app.

    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.
    • LANGUAGE: The app must be understandable to English speakers.

    4. Online Submission

    Consult the Submission Checklist for guidance. After the Submission Period has ended, the Submission cannot be modified in any way.

    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”.

    QUESTIONS

    In addition to the demonstration video, the team needs to answer the following questions:

      1. Your Registration ID number
      2. Title of the App.
      3. Explain the app’s purpose in ONE sentence (140 characters max).
      4. Short Description: What inspired you to create this app? (200 characters max)
      5. Short Description: What is your app trying to accomplish? (200 characters max)
      6. What technical/coding difficulty did you faced in programming your app, and how did you address this technical challenge? (1500 characters max.)
      7. With what you’ve learned, what improvements would make to version 2.0 of your app?  (750 characters max.)
      8. Upload team photo
      9. List your affiliations and groups (optional)

    5. Deadline

    The Congressional App Challenge will accept submissions from June 4 – October 15:

    Noon EST, Monday, October 15, 2018. Try to register before September 10, 2018 (registration indicates your intent to compete). Early registration significantly increases the chances for a successful challenge. Early registration does not obligate you to submit an app.

    6. Exit Questionnaire

    Once the app is submitted, students will receive a link to the Exit Questionnaire.

        • The Exit Questionnaire is mandatory.
        • The Exit Questionnaire responses are anonymous, and we may identify who has or has not completed the 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 individually.

    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:
          1. Quality of the idea (including creativity and originality)
          2. Implementation of the idea (including user experience and design)
          3. 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 House.gov website and the CongressionalAppChallenge.us 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 Competition;
        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 Competition;
        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 Submission.

    13. Privacy

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

    The information collected is subject to the privacy policies located at http://www.congressionalappchallenge.us/about/privacy-policy/ and https://www.house.gov/privacy-policy

    Competition Results

    For results of the competition check CongressionalAppChallenge.us during Computer Science Education Week, or thereafter.

    14. Administrators

    The Internet Education Foundation, 740 15th St. NW #900, Washington, DC, 20005