After careful consideration, our team has made the difficult decision to cancel the upcoming #HouseOfCode Festival due to concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak. The health and safety of our App Challengers and their families is of paramount concern, and while this decision is being taken out of an abundance of caution, it is the only responsible decision given the rapidly-evolving circumstances.
What makes #HouseOfCode so special is also what heightens the risk of an event like this: hundreds of students from 200 separate communities, across 44 states, traveling to demonstrate their award-winning apps to a large audience of Congressional Representatives in an indoor space. Over 325 students had registered for this year’s #HouseOfCode, nearly doubling the record-setting attendance from last year’s event. After the most successful year in the program’s history, it would have been fitting to hold the most ambitious #HouseOfCode yet. Over 175 Members of Congress were expected to be in attendance.
We understand that this will be disappointing for the hundreds of students who were planning to travel to the Capitol to demonstrate their apps for Congress, and it’s deeply disappointing to our team. #HouseOfCode is the highlight of our year, and preparations for this year’s event were all but finalized. Given the nature of the event and the uncertainty around the development of COVID-19, we will be unable to reschedule the event for a future date.
Our team will work to encourage Members of Congress to host their own local receptions for App Challenge winners once the COVID-19 situation has been brought under control. We will do our best to share those moments through our mailing lists and social media channels.
The 2020 Congressional App Challenge is scheduled to launch in early June.