2017 Registration & Rules

2017 Submission Process

  • Age. There is no age minimum. Those students who have graduated from high school are barred.

    • The Challenge is open to students K-12.

    Location. Students are only allowed to compete in participating Congressional districts. You may compete in either the district you live in, or the district you attend school in, as long as it is a participating Congressional district. Participants may compete in a single district.

    • First, find out what Congressional District you live in and who your Member of Congress is.
      • Look up your 9-digit zip code by entering your address, here.
        • Some zip codes are represented by multiple Members of Congress. Therefore,  using the 9-digit zip code ensures accuracy.
      • Look up your District and Member of Congress, here, using your 9-digit zip code.
        • The district name will include your state abbreviation and Congressional District number. It will look like this: “OH-13.” ← this means “the thirteenth congressional district of Ohio,” which is represented by Congressman Tim Ryan.
      • Save your 9-digit zip code, the name of your Member of Congress, and your district number.
    • Using the name of Member of Congress, find out if they’re participating in the 2017 Congressional App Challenge.
    • Repeat this process for your school address.
    • If a student’s Member of Congress is NOT participating in the 2017 Congressional App Challenge, the student may consider engaging your Member of Congress with  resources, here.

    Teams. Students can compete as individuals, or in teams of up to four (4) members.

    • Any team with more than four (4) students is not eligible to compete.
    • At least two (2) teammates on any team must live/attend school in the same Congressional District. (see this example)

    Old Projects. Students may submit any app they’ve created within the last calendar year, as long as the app meets the submission requirements.

  • Students who are eligible to compete, may register starting  July 26, 2017. The process should take approximately 10 minutes or less.

    To register as an individual, you’ll need:

    To register as a team, you’ll need:

    • The name and email address of all teammates.

    Within 3 business days of registering online, students will receive an email from [email protected] with your individual Student Submission ID Number. The number will look something like this: 17AB12-12345.

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

  • And now the fun part – creating your app!

    Here are the app requirements:

    • Topic: Your app can be about any topic you like. In the past, we’ve seen students submit mobile apps, web apps, personal computer (PC) apps, study tools, games, journal apps, and more.
    • Platform: Your app can be on any platform you like. It can be on iOs, Android, a web app, a PC app, a tablet app,
    • Functionality: Your app must have some degree of functionality to be competitive.
    • Content Suitability: Your 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.
  • Once the student’s app is ready, the student may  submit it. Students should consult  the Submission Checklist for guidance.

    Demonstration Video (1-3 min)

    Participants must create a demonstration video with following information: 

    • The name of the app
    • Clearly explain the purpose of the app (You should be able to do this in one clear sentence.)
    • Explain the app’s target audience (who is the app intended for?).
    • The tools and coding languages used to create the app
    • Show how the app is used.

    The video should be between 1 and 3 minutes long (no more than 180 seconds!).  This isn’t 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.

    Once the video is complete, upload the video to YouTube, Vimeo, or any other video-hosting site. Set the video to “public” in order for the judges to view it.



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

    1. Title of the app
    2. What is your app trying to accomplish and why? 
      (No more than 350 characters, including spaces.)
    3. What’s a technical difficulty you faced in programming your app and what technical solution did you use to overcome it? 
      (No more than 1500 characters, including spaces.)
    4. What improvements would make if you were going to create a version 2.0 of your app? (No more than 750 characters, including spaces).
    5. Email us a team photograph.

    The judges will watch the video, read your question answers, and grade the submission based on this rubric


    Please Note: Your submission 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. Any submission that doesn’t meet these requirements may be disqualified at the Administrator or Judge’s discretion.

  • Before submitting the app, review the Submission Checklist to avoid delays.


  • The Congressional App Challenge will accept submissions Noon Eastern Standard Time , Wednesday, July 26 to Noon  Eastern Standard Time, Wednesday, November 1, 2017.

    Submit using the online Submission Form.

    Students must have the following information to submit:

    • Your Submission ID Number (Received upon registration, and looks like this: 17AB12-12345)
    • The link to the 1-3 minute Demonstration Video
    • The written question answers
    • A team photo

    Teams: Only submit your app ONCE, using your Team ID Number.

  • After  the app is submitted, students will receive a link to the Exit Questionnaire. The Exit Questionnaire is mandatory.

    The questionnaire is anonymous, and the data helps us improve upon the Congressional App Challenge.  Exit Questionnaire responses are anonymous, and we may identify who has or has not completed the survey.

    Teams: AAL Members of your team must complete the Exit Questionnaire individually. Teammates can use the same link, but must complete the form individually.

The Rules

    1. 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 Time (“ET”), JULY 26, 2017.
    2. The “Competition Submission Period” will be closed at 12:00 PM (noon) Eastern Time (“ET”) NOVEMBER 1, 2017.
      • After the Submission Period has ended, the Submission cannot be modified in any way before the completion of judging.
    3. The Judging Period will last from NOVEMBER 2, 2017 through DECEMBER 1, 2017.
    4. Winners will be announced during Computer Science Education Week, or soon after in December 2017. 

    Note: The CAC Director’s computer is the official timekeeping device for this Competition.

    1. Members of Congress must have opted-in to participate for their student constituents to be eligible participate in this competition. If a Member of Congress does not opt-in, constituents in that district cannot participate.
    2. The Competition is open only to students K-12 who have not graduated from high school.
    3. The Competition is open only to students who reside in a participating district or who are attending high school in a participating district.
    4. Student participants may compete individually or in teams of up to four (4) students.
    5. If competing as a team, at least two team members must be eligible to participate in one Congressional District.
    6. Any given student may only submit one app.
    7. Any given student may only compete in one Congressional District.
    8. The Competition is subject to all applicable United States federal laws and regulations. Participation constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules. 
  • Submissions must:

    • Be original and solely owned by Contestant such that no other party has any rights or interest, whether known or unknown.
    • Have been created within one calendar year of the Submission Period conclusion. (i.e. it must have been created between November 1, 2016 and November 1, 2017.)
    • Be understandable to English speakers.

    Submissions must not:

    • Be illegal under applicable laws;
    • Be indecent, defamatory, in obvious bad taste, demonstrate a lack of respect for public morals or conduct, adversely affect the reputation of congressional districts;
    • Depict hatred, defame, threaten a specific community in the society or incite violence;
    • Contain vulgar language or violence;
    • Contain pornography, obscenity or sexual activity.
    • Violate the Intellectual Property, common law or privacy rights of other parties.


    Any submissions which do not meet these standards may be disqualified from consideration at the Administrator’s discretion.

    1. Demonstration Videos and Submission Answers will be reviewed and evaluated by District Judges based on the criteria outlined  on the rubric
    2. Awards will be judged based on the following criteria:
      • Quality of the idea (including creativity and originality)
      • Implementation of the idea (including user experience and design)
      • Demonstrated excellence of coding and programming skills.
    3. The Judges have the right to request access to the Application and source code in person or via any reasonable manner to verify that the Application functions and operates as stated in the Submission. 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.
  • Q. Will the winning students get any prizes?
    A: Yes. For 2017, the confirmed list of prizes include:

    1. Winning app eligible to be featured in the Capitol Building
    2. Winning app eligible to be put on House.gov  (10 million visitors per year).
    3. Each winner receives $250 in Amazon Web Services (AWS) Credits
    4. Winner(s) invited to #HouseOfCode DC Reception

    Q. What are AWS credits?

    AWS credits can be used for access to AWS products and services.  The credits can be utilized to access computing, storage, database, and many other resources on the AWS platform — in order to: build applications such as websites, mobile applications, blogs, etc; do database work and run analytics; store large and small digital files; and so on.  $1 worth of AWS promotional credits is equal to $1 worth of usage on AWS.

    Other Info:

    1. The Program Administrator (the Internet Education Foundation) may distribute prizes equally to all participating Congressional Districts, contingent upon what amount of support they are able to raise for that purpose.
    2. 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’ Handbook include certificates, folders, and frames of a nominal value.
    3. If the participating Member of Congress decides to host an awards ceremony, finalists will get the chance to present their apps to Judges, Congressional staffers and community leaders.
    4. The winning app in each district maybe featured on the House.gov website and the CongressionalAppChallenge.us website.
    5. If a winner is not able to attend the 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).
    6. Winning students may get to meet their Member of Congress.
    7. Winning apps may be eligible for display in the U.S. Capitol Building.

  • 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.


  • Except where prohibited, participation in the Competition constitutes participants’ consent to Administrators’ and their agents’ use of participants’ 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.
    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.
  •  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.

  • 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 http://www.house.gov/content/site_tools/privacy_policy.php

  • For results of the competition check CongressionalAppChallenge.us during Computer Science Education Week, or soon after, in December 2017.

  • The Program Administrators include:

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

Please review the process and rules section carefully. If you have an additional question, please check the Student FAQ. If you still can’t find some information you need, please email us at [email protected].