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These are extraordinary times. Roughly 90% of Americans have been ordered to “stay at home” in order to mitigate the risk of continuing to spread the COVID-19 virus. As of April 1st, 38 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico have issued stay-at-home orders. In total, about 297 million people are under some form of shelter in place as a result of the country’s efforts to combat the novel coronavirus.

Naturally, this has radically disrupted the academic year for this nation’s students. As a result, parents and educators alike are desperately scrambling for ways to keep their students academically engaged and challenged. 

Aware of this need, the team at the Congressional App Challenge has put together a comprehensive document full of free resources that students can use to learn how to code from home. Our hope is that students can use this period of social distancing to sharpen their coding skills, learn how to collaborate virtually, and build apps that seek to better their communities in one way or another.

Pre-registration for the 2020 Congressional App Challenge has begun, and official registration begins on June 1, 2020. Sign up for pre-registration today, sharpen your skills with these free resources, and prepare to code your future with the Congressional App Challenge.

Sponsor Resources

Partner Resources

Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services offers a variety of services that can enhance the app you build. You can use it to create databases, run machine learning algorithms, or power a server to host your app on. It’s a great way to take your app to the next level. Students who are 14 or older are eligible for a no-cost AWS Educate account and can receive up to $100 in AWS Promotional Credit with an AWS Educate Starter Account.

Amazon is also supporting free computer science education during COVID-19 through it’s Amazon Future Engineer program. There is an ever-growing list of on-demand resources available at no cost to students.

Apple

Swift Playgrounds is a revolutionary app from Apple that makes it fun to learn and experiment with code. You solve interactive puzzles in the guided “Learn to Code” lessons to master the basics of coding, or experiment with a wide range of challenges that let you explore many unique coding experiences.

Swift Playgrounds requires no coding knowledge, so it’s perfect for students just starting out, from twelve to one-hundred-and-twelve. The whole time you are learning Swift, a powerful programming language created by Apple and used by professionals to build many of today’s most popular apps. And because it’s built to take full advantage of iPad and the real iPadOS SDK, Swift Playgrounds is a first-of-its-kind learning experience.

Eligible students can submit their Swift Playground creations to Apple’s Swift Student Challenge through May 17th. Showcase your love of coding by creating an incredible Swift playground on the topic of your choice. Winners will receive an exclusive WWDC20 jacket and pin set.

Capital One

Capital One Coders inspires the future generation by educating, mentoring, and empowering students to recognize their potential as technologists. Capital One Coders connects Capital One associates with students to cultivate interest in computer science during a critical period in their development. Their mission is to inspire the future generation by educating, mentoring, and empowering students to recognize their potential as technologists, and is spread throughout the country, with sites in over 10 cities.

While Capital One Coders is made up of in-person seminars that will resume after the virus has passed, they’ve got you covered with a set of App Recipes – complete with step-by-step instructions and supplemental resources.

theCoderSchool

theCoderSchool is an after-school drop-off program that teaches kids how to code. Originating in Silicon Valley, theCoderSchool has expanded with franchises nationwide. During the current COVID-19 outbreak, the program has transitioned to distance learning methods. With a preferred 2:1 CodeCoach:Student ratio, theCoderSchool provides students an opportunity to develop life-long coding skills from a very young age. The first remote lesson for students is provided at no cost. New coders can also check out theCoderSchool AppStream, a free weekly lesson on how to code a simple app, as taught by their founders.

Microsoft

Microsoft MakeCode brings computer science to life for all students with fun projects, immediate results, and both block and text editors for learners at different levels. With many schools closed due to COVID-19, Microsoft knows that students and educators are looking for online learning resources to continue their CS journey. They have compiled a list of helpful resources that students can access to continue their computing education outside the classroom. 

Members of the Microsoft MakeCode team and community will be recording live video streams daily to walk students through different MakeCode tutorials and projects. All videos will be live streamed on Mixer and available for viewing later in the MakeCode YouTube Channel.

Boolean Girl

In response to COVID-related school closings, Boolean Girl is launching Full STEM Ahead, a series of live, online events to teach kids to code, build, invent and animate three times per week at no cost to students. Each episode will introduce new engineering and coding projects to increase interest and engagement around STEM. What’s more: if students and their parents can’t join live, they can watch the webinars at any time.

Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code knows that parents, educators, and girls are looking for support and connection during these challenging times. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to school closures and significant disruption to daily life, Girls Who Code is making CS educational activities available for download free of charge, to anyone who wants to access them.

The Girls Who Code team will release activities weekly — some online, some offline, of varying levels of difficulty—over the course of the next few months. Each activity will include a feature of a woman in tech who pioneered innovative technology.

Thunkable

Thunkable — the drag & drop mobile app building platform — has just released a free online course to help students learn how to build mobile apps from home. The course “Introduction to App Building”, was developed by MIT engineers and contains self-directed classes that teach app building and computer science concepts.

Each section contains both written and video tutorials, and focuses on helping students develop a strong foundation for mobile app development. Students will learn how to design beautiful user interfaces, and how to program apps with variables, conditionals, and loops. With Thunkable’s technology, students can also test apps directly on their own devices!