The annual Congressional App Challenge (CAC) launches today. The CAC is a Congressional initiative to encourage student engagement in STEM and, more specifically, computer science. Middle and high school students from across America are invited to participate. Registration is now open for students, and more detailed rules and guidelines can be found on our website.
Already, over 250 Members of Congress opened a Challenge for their district’s students (we expect dozens more to launch their Challenges in the coming weeks). “The Congressional App Challenge is the largest series of student coding competitions in the world,” said Tim Lordan, Executive Director of the Internet Education Foundation, which was appointed as the CAC’s official sponsor by the U.S. House Of Representatives.
The CAC was created because Congress recognizes how essential computer science and STEM skills are for economic growth and innovation, and that the U.S. is currently experiencing a dearth of adequately trained technical talent. By some estimates, there are nearly a quarter of a million unfilled programming jobs in the US. The CAC is a congressional effort to maintain American competitiveness, by proactively inspiring our youth and encouraging them to pursue these crucial skills.
The Congressional App Challenge winners receive official recognition from their Member of Congress, and their app is displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year.
The CAC aims to bridge the gender, geographic, and racial gaps in tech by building the domestic pipeline of future tech innovators. The program has inspired over 14,000 students across 47 states and territories to code over 4,000 apps for desktop PCs, web, tablets, mobiles or other platforms. Participant demographics for the 828 past App Challenges surpassed all tech industry diversity metrics. This year, the Congressional App Challenge strives to build upon this success.