#HouseOfCode 2019: A Recap of the Congressional App Challenge’s Computer Science Festival on Capitol Hill

Student Winners on Capitol Steps

On Thursday, May 9, hundreds of middle and high school students from congressional districts across the country arrived at Capitol Hill for #HouseOfCode, a celebration of the 2018 Congressional App Challenge winners. 

#HouseOfCode kicked off in the morning with a welcome session hosted at the Capitol Visitor Center Auditorium. Leaders from Congress, the administration, and private sector spoke to the audience of students, inspiring them to take charge in leading this country to the forefront of STEM development by pursuing careers in computer science. The speakers were:

  • Edward Hartwig, Deputy Administrator, U.S. Digital Service¬†
  • Laura Peter, Deputy Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
  • Trisha Prabhu, Inventor of ReThink Technology¬†
  • Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06)
  • Rep. DelBene (WA-01), 2018 Congressional App Challenge Co-chair
  • Rep. French Hill (AR-02), 2018 Congressional App Challenge Co-chair
  • Rep. Hakeem Jefferies (NY-08)
  • Rep. Jim Himes (CT-04)

#HouseOfCode progressed in the afternoon with a Sponsor and Partner Expo held in the Rayburn House Office Building Foyer. Students met and connected with sponsors, partners, and community organizations to discuss pathways to careers in STEM. Additionally, students volunteered to be interviewed about their winning apps and took photos at the photo-booth with their families.

Following the expo, over 250 Congressional App Challenge winners gathered in the Rayburn Banquet Rooms to set up their app demos. #HouseOfCode featured students from 130 Congressional Districts and over 40 states and territories, including Puerto Rico and Northern Mariana Islands. Over 100 Members of Congress attended in support of their students and the Congressional App Challenge.

About the Congressional App Challenge

The CAC is an official initiative of the U.S. House of Representatives, managed by the Internet Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The first four years of the program have yielded thousands of functional apps created by over 14,000 students, and participant demographics surpass all industry diversity metrics.

The 2018 Congressional App Challenge is possible thanks to the generous support of our sponsors: Amazon Web Services, Capitol One, Consumer Technology Association, Microsoft, Verizon Foundation, Synchrony, The Computing Technology Industry Association, Democracy Fund, Society for Science & The Public; Software.org: the BSA Foundation, Southwest Airlines, and the United Parcel Service. Support for #HouseOfCode was also provided by CGI, American Library Association, and Flatiron School. The Challenge owes gratitude to Representatives Bob Goodlatte and Anna G. Eshoo, co-chairs of the Congressional Internet Caucus, who requested and supported the creation of the CAC. Lastly, thank you to Representatives Suzan DelBene and French Hill for serving as 2018 Congressional App Challenge Co-chairs.