2017 Congressional App Challenge Doubles in Participation and Addresses Tech’s Diversity Gap

Coming off an exciting year, the Congressional App Challenge has released their numbers for the 3rd annual contest. Over 4,950 students from 42 states participated in the 2017 Challenge. This more than doubles the participation rate from the previous year.
Addressing Tech’s Diversity Gap
This unprecedented growth is due to the CAC footprint, which included 225 US congressional districts. The Congressional App Challenge outpaced the tech industry by reaching out to a wide range of students in terms of gender, race, ethnicity and geography.
2017 CAC Geographic Footprint
Geographic Footprint of the 2017 Congressional App Challenge
Source: 2014 Silicon Valley Diversity Chart, © 2015 Lee & Low Bookshttp://i0.wp.com/blog.leeandlow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Diversity_In_Tech-lg.jpg
“One of my goals was to increase the CAC footprint to ensure that all underrepresented groups had a chance to participate,” states CAC Director Rachel Decoste. “I am proud that the App Challenge continues to surpass the tech industry’s diversity standards. It foreshadows the strength of the U.S.’s future workforce”. In collaboration with willing Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, the Challenge has become a valuable manifestation of Congress’ commitment to building the domestic pipeline of future tech leaders. Melissa Medina, the CAC’s Congressional Director, adds “This Challenge innovates the way Congress engages with technology. We work to connect today’s Congress with tomorrow’s coders and innovators. The fact that the App Challenge is naturally bipartisan demonstrates tech’s ability to unite Congress behind a common goal of spreading STEM and Computer Science opportunities across the country.”  The Congressional App Challenge winners get recognition from their Member of Congress, as well as various prizes donated by CAC sponsors including $250 Amazon Web Service Credits and $100 Southwest Airline e-gift card to help with the students travel to DC and demo their app at the #HouseOfCode Demo Day Reception on Capitol Hill.” Rachel Decoste, Program Director, Congressional App Challenge 
Onto the Next Challenge
The 2018 edition of the Congressional App Challenge will launch this summer. If growth metrics are any indication, over 7,000 American students will take it upon themselves to learn to code and create original applications on the web, on their tablet, PC or mobile by the October deadline