CONGRESSIONAL APP CHALLENGE LAUNCHING NOVEMBER 9, 2015
Congress Moves To Foster Youth Computer Science Skills, District by District
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, the Committee on House Administration voted unanimously to clear the path for the second Congressional App Challenge when they passed Committee Resolution 114. The Resolution outlines the requirements for Officially-Sanctioned Academic Competitions, such as the Congressional App Challenge, which aims to inspire high school students throughout America to pursue computer science and STEM disciplines.
Immediately following the Committee’s markup, Congressional Internet Caucus chairs, Representatives Bob Goodlatte and Anna G. Eshoo, sent an official request to the Committee for the establishment of the 2015 Congressional App Challenge (CAC). The request also names the Internet Education Foundation as the official outside sponsor of the Challenge.
Now that we are fully authorized we are pleased to definitively announce that the second annual CAC is set to launch on November 9, 2015, and to run through January 15, 2016. During that period, U.S. high school students in participating Congressional districts will create and submit “apps” that will be judged by panels of local judges. The Judging Period will last from January 15 to February 15, 2016, after which the winners will be announced and honored by their Member of Congress. The winners’ apps will also be featured on a display in the Capitol building.
We are excited to announce that the 2015 CAC is being co-chaired by Representatives Mimi Walters and Hakeem Jeffries. In 2014, the CAC received submissions from students in 84 districts; this year, we aim to expand upon that success by doubling the number of submissions. Recognizing the racial, gendered, and other disparities in the tech sector, the CAC will also emphasize inclusivity. Deliberate efforts will be made to include students from all backgrounds, including those traditionally underrepresented in the tech community.
The CAC was created by the U.S. House of Representatives to engage U.S. high school student in coding and computer science. 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. According to some estimates, the U.S. may be short as many as 3 million high-skilled workers by 2018.*] The CAC is a congressional effort to maintain American competitiveness, by proactively investing in our youth and encouraging them to pursue these crucial STEM-based skills.
The 2015 CAC is only possible thanks to the dedicated efforts of several key supporters: Committee on House Administration Chairwoman Candice Miller and Ranking Member Robert Brady, and Representatives Bob Goodlatte and Anna G. Eshoo, co-chairs of the Congressional Internet Caucus, who requested the creation of the Challenge and served as its inaugural co-chairs in 2014.
We expect that close to 100 Members of Congress will host youth coding competitions for their young constituents. This is a massive initiative that will require the assistance of all computer science and STEM stakeholders. To find out how your can help the Congressional App Challenge contact Rhianon Anderson at [email protected].
* National Math + Science Initiative (https://www.nms.org/AboutNMSI/TheSTEMCrisis/STEMEducationStatistics.aspx)