On Monday July 8th, the House of Representatives launched the 2019 Congressional App Challenge (CAC) for its 5th consecutive year. As the CAC is district-specific, students compete against other students from their congressional district to be named their district’s Congressional App Challenge winner. After the Challenge’s completion, the winners from each district are welcomed to #HouseOfCode to meet their Congress Member and celebrate the future of American tech talent.
📱Calling all parents, teachers, mentors: middle & high school students interested in coding are invited to submit an app for the 2019 Congressional App Challenge.
The Challenge is open to all middle and high school students residing or attending school in a district whose Member of Congress is hosting an App Challenge. In 2019, Over 275 Members of Congress are hosting App Challenges in their respective districts. Of the Freshman Congress Members, 75% are hosting a Challenge in their district. Students with or without coding experience are welcome! In fact, 44% of students who competed in the 2018 Challenge were beginners.
Marianas middle school & high school students interested in computer science or STEM fields, it’s time to enter this year’s .@CongressionalAC. Previous winners came to DC to show their apps to members of Congress & leaders in the tech industry.
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. Want to know if your Congress Member’s district is hosting an App Challenge?Click here! Not sure who your Congress Member is? Click here!
The 2019 @CongressionalAC has officially launched. This is a great opportunity for students throughout West Tennessee to get involved in coding. I encourage everyone to apply! https://t.co/Uu40P5cZk1
The Congressional App Challenge is supported by private-sector organizations that share a commitment to creating a diverse pipeline of computer science talent. These organizations make it possible for the Challenge to reach students from across the nation and spread computer science education to all.
Reps. French Hill and Suzan DelBene Ascend As Co-Chairs of the 2018 Congressional App Challenge
September 25, 2018
Washington, DC – Today Representatives Bob Goodlatte (VA) and Anna G. Eshoo (CA) announced new leadership for the next session of the Congressional App Challenge (CAC), an initiative to inspire students across the country to learn about STEM education and coding. As co-chairs of the Congressional Internet Caucus, Goodlatte and Eshoo appointed Representatives French Hill (AR) and Suzan DelBene (WA), two recognized leaders in Congress on STEM and next generation workforce issues. The Congressional Internet Caucus initiates the CAC at the start of each Congress.
“I am pleased to announce that Representatives French Hill and Suzan DelBene will be leading this year’s Congressional App Challenge. The App Challenge, which is only in its fourth year, has already seen tremendous growth and I know that this will continue under the leadership of Representatives Hill and DelBene,” states Rep. Bob Goodlatte. “The Congressional App Challenge is a great opportunity to engage student’s creativity and encourage their participation in the STEM education fields that create jobs and fuel innovation in America. With new apps for electronic devices popping up every day, it’s time for our students to show what they can do.”
Rep. Anna G. Eshoo states, “It’s an honor to welcome Rep. Suzan DelBene and Rep. French Hill as bi-partisan Co-Chairs of this year’s Congressional App Challenge, a competition which invites high school students from across the country to create and exhibit software applications for various platforms for everyday use. The Congressional App Challenge was co-founded by Reps. Eshoo and Goodlatte in 2013, to engage students’ creativity and encourage their participation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education fields. This competition helps students hone the critical STEM skills they need to have the best opportunities in our modern economy. Given Rep. DelBene’s and Rep. French’s experience and interest on a range of technology issues, I’m confident the Challenge will succeed in their capable hands.”
“I’m excited and honored to co-chair the Congressional App Challenge,” said Representative Hill. “During my time in Congress, central Arkansas students have submitted for consideration more than 75 apps and two winners Anne Li and Michael Davis have come to Washington, D.C., for the national reception. I’m looking forward to helping lead the charge in encouraging students in Arkansas and across the country to use their creativity to participate and pursue in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education fields and to make this year’s App Challenge bigger and better than ever.” – Congressman French Hill
Rep. Suzan DelBene states, “As the product of a STEM education that led to a career in tech, I am thrilled to help encourage the ingenuity of all our nation’s best and brightest students. The App Challenge is a great opportunity for students who are interested in coding to hone their skills, learn new ones, and cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit.”
“We’re thrilled that Representatives Hill and DelBene will spearhead the Congressional App Challenge. Both of them have shown great leadership in STEM and computer science education. We are confident that their leadership will take the Challenge to the next level.” – Tim Lordan, Executive Director, Internet Education Foundation
This year, the CAC runs until October 15, 2018. The #HouseOfCode Winners’ reception is set for Spring 2019 in Washington, D.C.
About the Congressional App Challenge The CAC is an initiative of the U.S. House of Representatives, where Members of Congress host contests in their districts for middle school and high school students, encouraging them to learn to code and inspiring them to pursue careers in computer science. The non-profit Internet Education Foundation provides the CAC with supplemental staffing and support. In the first three years of the Congressional App Challenge, the program has yielded 605 App Challenges across 42 states. Over 2,400 functional apps have been created by over 10,000 students, and participant demographics surpass all industry diversity metrics.
We’ve crunched the numbers from the 2017 Congressional App Challenge and results are amazing: 225 Members of the House of Representatives hosted local computer science competitions for students in their districts. The competition was unprecedented in terms of sheer participation as well as in geographical and diversity statistics.
The Congressional App Challenge (CAC), which has become the most prestigious prize in student app competitions, more than doubled in terms of participation over the previous year, and nine new states across the country were represented. In the course of three short years, the CAC, which is an official initiative of the U.S. House of Representatives, has achieved what no other initiative has been able to do: it has reached extraordinary levels of geographic and rural participation while garnering participation from underserved communities at record-setting levels.
We thought you should know about the amazing stats from the 2017 CAC detailed below. And we’ve provided a look ahead to our #HouseOfCode Demo Day in Rayburn and the start of the 2018 CAC.
Student Participation Up 129%
This past year, the CAC increased state participation by almost 30 percent. The 40 states in dark blue represent those that participated in the district-wide competitions in 2017.
Geographic Footprint of the 2017 Congressional App Challenge
CAC Crushes Tech Industry Diversity Gap
The CAC outpaced the tech industry by reaching out to a wide range of students in terms of gender, race, ethnicity and geography. The following unprecedented growth is due to the CAC footprint, which included 225 US congressional districts.
Inspiring Young Women Coders
The CAC helped address the gender gap in the tech industry by reaching a new plateau with 33% of its participants being young women and girls. During the 3rd annual contest, over 1,600 female students were inspired by Congress’ coding challenge.
Source: 2014 Silicon Valley Diversity Chart, (C) 2015 Lee & Low Books
“One of my goals was to increase the CAC footprint to ensure that all underrepresented groups had a chance to participate,” said CAC Director Rachel Decoste. ‚”I am proud that the App Challenge continues to surpass tech industry standards. It foreshadows the strength of the future of the U.S. workforce”.
Attend #HouseofCode /
The New National Science Fair
The Congressional App Challenge invites winners from across the country to demo their apps to the Members of Congress and members of the tech community at #HouseOfCode, a reception on Capitol Hill to be held on April 12, 2018. At #HouseOfCode the winners are recognized by their Representative in Congress and their apps are put on display in the Capitol Building. Southwest airlines provides $100 travel vouchers for winners to come to #HouseOfCode and winners are given $250 Amazon Web Service Credits.
“We hope you will join us in celebrating these remarkable students.” Rachel Decoste, Director, Congressional App Challenge.
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. The CAC Congressional Director Melissa Medina 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.”
About The Congressional App Challenge
The Congressional App Challenge is an official initiative of the U.S. House of Representatives to encourage kids to learn how to code, through annual district-wide competitions hosted by Members of Congress for their district.
Students in participating districts code original applications for the chance to be selected for recognition by their Member of Congress, win prizes, and have their app put on display in the Capitol Building in Washington, DC. The Challenge is executed by the Congressional staff of each participating district. It is initiated by the Congressional Internet Caucus and coordinated by the Internet Education Foundation, the appointed non-governmental sponsor. [More]
WASHINGTON, DC – Today 190 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives will announce the winners of the 2017 Congressional App Challenge. Over the last four months, thousands of students coded original apps as part of district-wide competitions hosted by Members of the House.
The Congressional App Challenge aims to engage students in coding and computer science. In all, 190 Congressional districts across 42 states hosted app challenges for their student constituents. Congressional participation was widespread and remarkably bipartisan.
“This year the Congressional App Challenge has expanded its reach, with notable inroads in rural America and with underrepresented minorities and young women” said Rachel Decoste, Director of the Challenge. “This has been a banner year thanks to our sponsors, partners and the dedicated educators who are at the heart of this initiative’s success.”
Over 4,100 students participated in the 14-week regional competitions. They submitted over 1,270 original student-created apps, a 96% growth in number of apps from last year’s Challenge. The winners are listed online at CongressionalAppChallenge.us. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to view the announcements of winners from each Member of Congress.
The Congressional App Challenge will invite winners from across the country to showcase their apps to the Members of Congress and members of the tech community at #HouseOfCode, a reception on Capitol Hill to be held in April 2018. Their work is eligible to be featured for one year on the permanent display in the U.S. Capitol Building and on the House.gov website. Each winning student will also be awarded $250 in Amazon Web Service credits, generously donated by Amazon Web Services.
Congratulations to all the students who participated!
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 three years of the program yielded 426 challenges across 42 states. Over 2,400 apps were created by nearly 8,000 students, and participant demographics surpassed the tech industry’s best gender, racial and geographic diversity metrics. The 2017 Congressional App Challenge is possible thanks to the generous support of our sponsors: Capital One, Microsoft, Democracy Fund, Verizon Foundation, Amazon Web Services, the United Parcel Service, BSA (Business Software Alliance) Foundation, CA Technologies, Cognizant and the Copyright Alliance. The Challenge also 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. Additionally, thank you to Representatives Illeana Ros-Lehtinen and Tim Ryan for serving as 2017 App Challenge Co-chairs.
For more information, to sponsor, or to partner, please contact [email protected] and visit CongressionalAppChallenge.us
Last month at the 2017 CSforALL Summit in St. Louis, Rachel Decoste, Congressional App Challenge Director, highlighted the spectacular growth the program has made in just two short years. In her keynote to the nation’s leading stakeholders in computer science education, Decoste illustrated the tremendous reach of the App Challenge as well as its incredible diversity participation numbers.
Geographic Footprint of the 2017 Congressional App Challenge
The Congressional App Challenge‘s demographics surpass the tech industry’s best in terms of gender diversity, with 30% of past participants self-identifying as young women. Furthermore, the App Challenge boasted racial and ethnic diversity, including 17% Hispanic and 7% African-American participants in 2016.
At the Summit, the Congressional App Challenge debuted its geographic footprint, including an impressive presence in rural districts. A video of the presentation is available online.
It begins today! The third annual Congressional App Challenge (CAC) has now launched and will run through November 1, 2017. The CAC is a congressional initiative to encourage student engagement in coding and computer science through local app challenges hosted by the Members of Congress. This year, there are over 165 Members of Congress signed up to participate!
The CAC aims to bridge the gender, geographic, and racialgaps in tech. In its first two years, the program yielded 239 challenges across 33 states. Over 1,150 apps were created by nearly 4,000 students, and participant demographics surpassed all industry diversity metrics, with young women representing 30% of all competitors. This year, the Congressional App Challenge will strive to build upon those numbers.
During the next 14 weeks, thousands of students in participating Congressional districts will create and submit their own original applications, that will be evaluated by panels of local judges.The Members of Congress will announce the winners during Computer Science Education Week in early December. Winners will be honored by their Member of Congress. More prizes will be announced throughout the Challenge.
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, right now. The CAC is a congressional effort to maintain American competitiveness, by proactively inspiring our youth and encouraging them to pursue these crucial skills.
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. Challenge execution is supported by the efforts of our Advisory Board, which includes the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, the Computer Science Teachers Association, Girls Who Code, Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Capital One, and Cisco, as well as a broad coalition of CS-focused partners.
For more information about the Congressional App Challenge, please visit CongressionalAppChallenge.us. If you are interested getting involved or in supporting the Congressional App Challenge, please contact our Director, Rachel Decoste, at [email protected]
The CAC’s new Director is a skilled coder who is passionate about increasing the reach of computer science and STEM among youth
WASHINGTON, DC – Rachel Décoste, an accomplished Software Engineer and STEM advocate, will spearhead the Congressional App Challenge (CAC) as it prepares its 3rd annual Challenge on July 26, 2017. Décoste joins the Internet Education Foundation, the CAC’s official coordinator, as Director of the project. The CAC is a congressional initiative to encourage student engagement in coding and computer science through app contests hosted by Members of Congress in their districts.
“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. “Rachel is an accomplished computer scientist and an inspirational leader. We expect her to push the contest to new heights.”
Ms. Décoste is an autodidactic coder, having taught herself computer programming using a library book. She started with a small app simulating a math quiz for her little sister. A decade later, Ms. Décoste was coding air traffic control systems for the Federal Aviation Agency, among others. Ms. Décoste’s trajectory inspires young people – including women, minorities and those who live in the heartland – to rise to the Challenge.
“I’m excited to join a team of people who are passionate about increasing STEM among America’s youth and connecting the U.S. Congress with their local tech communities,” said Ms. Décoste. “Learning to code in as a teenager opened the door to a fantastic career for me. I hope the Congressional App Challenge will be a catalyst for the next generation of tech leaders.”
In the first 2 years of the program yielded 239 challenges across 33 states. Over 1,150 apps were created by nearly 4,000 students, and participant demographics surpassed all industry diversity metrics, with young women representing 30% of all competitors. This year, the CAC initiative aims to reach even more constituents.
The Internet Education Foundation is seeking an experienced, energetic and dynamic Program Director to lead one of its projects, the Congressional App Challenge. The position is based in Washington, D.C.
The Congressional App Challenge (CAC) is a young, nationwide effort aimed at encouraging students to learn how to code, through localized app challenges hosted by Members of Congress. (More details on the CAC below.
The Program Director position will be responsible for overseeing execution of the Congressional App Challenge, including:
Program Management: The Program Director is responsible for determining, implementing and overseeing CAC processes. These include, but are not limited to: congressional registration and participation, student registration and project submission, partnership management, localized outreach strategies, diversity-promoting strategies, etc.
In the last 2 years, nearly 4,000 students have participated in 239 challenges across 33 states – and the program is growing in popularity. The Program Director will need to establish new data management protocols to protect the information of thousands of students, connect congressional offices with pertinent organizations, and more.
Fundraising: The Program Director is an integral part of the organization’s fundraising efforts. The Program Director must be able to articulate the project’s goals and value to prospective funders, communicate with existing funders, and determine a strategy to attract additional funders. A background in grant applications and foundation fundraising is a bonus.
Communications/Marketing: The Program Director must use communications tools and strategies to recruit student participation and stakeholder support in pockets all across America. This role will require raising awareness of the project through social media, email marketing campaigns, personalized communications, and frequent public speaking under a variety of conditions.
Manage A Growing Team: Currently, the primary CAC consists of a full-time Program Manager, several part-time consultants, and several interns and volunteers. As the program grows, the Program Director will need to establish hiring criteria and processes, manage onboarding, and oversee a growing team.
As the Program Director you will:
Oversee all efforts involved in execution of the Congressional App Challenge.
Develop and maintain sponsor relationships.
Build partnerships with community organizations, both nationwide and local, to advance outreach efforts in participating districts.
Develop and maintain improved contact/data management systems.
Work with the Congressional Affairs Director and oversee other team members.
Organize #HouseOfCode, the culminating celebration in the Spring.
Develop new models for growth in the areas of educational support and regional events such as hackathons and demo days.
SKILLS & QUALIFICATIONS
The most important quality a program manager must bring to the table, is a passion for addressing the tech talent gap, and promoting equity and equality in the tech community.
Required Skills & Qualifications:
Several years experience managing complex projects.
An entrepreneurial spirit and startup mentality.
Relentless attention to detail and effective time-management skills.
A commitment to social equity and diversity efforts.
A data-driven, metrics-oriented mindset.
Media experience; pitching press releases, op-eds, and more.
Clear and concise communications skills, oral and written.
Some familiarity with Computer Science (coding skills a plus).
Experience with WordPress, HTML, and CSS.
Experience with CRMs and email marketing programs. (We use Salesforce and Mailchimp.)
Experience with database development and management.
Non-profit or Capitol Hill experience.
Experience hosting hackathons, demo days, or coding competitions.
Experience with computer science education strongly preferred.
A Graduate Degree in public policy, business administration, computer science, or related fields.
Launched in late 2015, the Congressional App Challenge operates in the intersection of Congressional politics, technology policy, and 21st century workforce development. The program is a joint effort between the Internet Education Foundation and the House of Representatives. Aimed at inspiring students across America to pursue computer science and coding skills, IEF coordinates and supports the execution of regional app challenges hosted by the Members of Congress from July through late October/early November.
Winners are announced in December during Computer Science Education Week, and the Challenge concludes with #HouseOfCode, a reception and demo day held in Washington DC in the spring, which student from around the country travel to, to showcase their award-winning apps.
The CAC mission is to inspire, include, and innovate efforts around STEM, coding, and computer science education:
Inspire: To inspire students from every corner of the country to explore STEM, coding and computer science through hands-on practice;
Include: To actively include and engage students from communities that are traditionally underrepresented in the tech community; and
Innovate: To innovate policymaking by connecting Members of Congress to new and emerging technologies through personal interactions with their student constituents.
In two cycles, the CAC has executed 239 successful challenges, and has grown to a point that now requires an experienced project manager to take the program to the next level.
The 2016 CAC winners started Tuesday, April 4 by attending “Computer Science, Coding, and Beyond: Career Options in the Tech Community,”a program hostedby Microsoft at their Innovation and Policy Center.
Allyson Knox, Microsoft’s Director of Education Policy, welcomed the students and introduced keynote speaker Representative Suzan DelBene. The Congresswoman spoke to the students about her experience working in both tech and policy realms, and encouraged them to make a difference in the world by pursuing their passions. The Congresswoman’s speech was followed by a panel of tech professionals, moderated by Austin Carson (Executive Director, TechFreedom), and featuring panelists Rachel Bittner (Engineer, Spotify), Clara Tsao (Presidential Innovation Fellow), and Matt Legend (CEO of Legend). (Check out the video, here! Skip ahead to the 22 minute mark to get to the programming.) After leaving Microsoft, the students and their families headed to Capitol Hill to visit the Capitol Building display that features the CAC-winning apps.
The programming culminated with #HouseOfCode, a Demo Day and Reception held in theRayburn Foyer on Capitol Hill (generously sponsored by Intel), where the students presented the incredible apps that won their district’s Congressional App Challenge. #HouseOfCode featured students from 51 Congressional Districts and 22 states. 37 Members of Congress attended, in support of their students and the Congressional App Challenge.
Over 500 supporters of computer science education attended #HouseOfCode in total. Guests heard remarks from the CAC Executive Director, the Congressional Internet Caucus Co-Chairs, and several of the past, present and future CAC Congressional Co-Chairs. Reps. Ed Royce and Seth Moulton announced their successors: Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27) and Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-13) will serve as the co-chairs of the 2017 Congressional App Challenge! The speakers included:
In less than two years, the Congressional App Challenge has reached nearly 4,000 students in 33 states. Congressional offices have hosted 239 successful challenges, and received the submission of nearly 1200 original, student-coded apps. The success of the Congressional App Challenge has been made possible thanks to the widespread bipartisan congressional support for the program, and thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and partners.
#HouseOfCode was made possible by the generous support of these sponsors:
Thank you to all who supported #HouseOfCode and the Congressional App Challenge!
Demo Day on the Hill Honors Congressional App Challenge Winners: For one day, the House of Representatives becomes the #HouseOfCode
WASHINGTON, D.C.― From 4:30 – 7:30 PM on April 4, 2017, more than 120 Representatives and their 2016 Congressional App Challenge student winners will be honored at #HouseOfCode, a reception and demo day held in the Rayburn Foyer.
In 2016, 123 Members of Congress participated in the second annual Congressional App Challenge (CAC) and inspired over 2,100 students to compete in their coding competitions. Students from 33 states submitted 650 original apps, covering an incredible range of topics and purposes; they created apps to give guidance during medical emergencies, sign-language translators, political news, and more. The apps these students created reflect the creativity, imagination and talent tomorrow’s STEM workforce is capable of, when given opportunity and encouragement. The winning app from each district has been put on display in the Capitol’s Cannon Tunnel, and can also be found on house.gov and the Congressional App Challenge website (CongressionalAppChallenge.us).
The CAC has shown itself to be one of the most bipartisan efforts on the Hill, with Members of all political stripes hosting district-wide competitions to encourage their student constituents to learn how to code. These Members recognize how crucial coding skills are for America’s economic future and hosted the CAC to give their constituents an opportunity to take part in that future. Right now, there are over a half million unfilled computer jobs in the U.S. Even with average salaries of more than $100,000 per year, the number of roles requiring coding skills is growing much faster than the number of students learning them. By participating in the CAC, Members are personally taking steps to address that gap.
#HouseOfCode will honor the efforts of these Members and their winners. Nearly 100 students from across the country will travel to DC to participate and demo their work. Remarks will be given by several Members of Congress and the newly selected 2017 Congressional Co-chairs will be announced. Light refreshments will be served as the students demo their winning apps to their Representatives, congressional staff, and the community. This event is open to the public and the press.
WHAT: #HouseOfCode – Demo Day and Reception WHEN: 4:30 – 7:30 PM, Tuesday, April 4 WHERE: Rayburn Foyer, Rayburn House Office Building
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA-06), Co-Chair of the Internet Caucus, Inaugural CAC Co-Chair
Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Co-Chair of the Internet Caucus, Inaugural CAC Co-Chair
2016 Recognition & Announcement of 2017 Congressional Co-Chairs (6:00 PM)
Rep. Ed Royce (CA-39), Co-Chair of the 2016 Congressional App Challenge
Rep. Seth Moulton (MA-06), Co-Chair of the 2016 Congressional App Challenge
The 2016 CAC was made possible by the generous support of our sponsors: Amazon Web Services, Capital One, Intel, Microsoft, the United Parcel Service, CA Technologies, and the Business Software Alliance.
For more information about #HouseOfCode, please visit: https://houseofcode.splashthat.com/
For more information about the Congressional App Challenge and the student winners, please visit our website.
For questions regarding the program or this event, please contact Rhianon Anderson, at [email protected] or at (650) 302-1799
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About the Congressional App Challenge
The Congressional App Challenge is an initiative that encourages students across the country to learn how to code by participating in district-wide competitions, hosted by Members of Congress.
The program was created in partnership by the Internet Education Foundation and the Congressional Internet Caucus, and officially launched in 2015 with three goals: (1) to inspire students from every corner of the country to explore STEM, coding and computer science through hands-on practice; (2) to actively include and engage students from communities that are traditionally underrepresented in the tech community; and (3) to innovate policymaking by connecting Members of Congress to new and emerging technologies through personal interactions with their student constituents.
In the first 2 years of the program, 239 challenges have been successfully executed across 33 states. More than 1,150 apps were submitted by nearly 4,000 students, and participation demographics surpassed all industry diversity metrics, with young women representing 30% of all competitors.