beanz Magazine

The Congressional App Challenge

Stephen D. Luke on Flickr

The US Congressional App Challenge is an annual contest to encourage US high school students to try programming by creating an app.

The contest is open this year from July 18 through November 2, 2016. Winners are announced in each of the House districts for the US Congress. In 2016, that’s 180 districts in 42 states. That’s 180 potential winners.

The contest website includes links to see if your House district participates and, if not, to request they join the contest. (And, if you’re outside the US, you might want to look online to see if your local, state, or federal governments offer a similar contest. If they don’t? Maybe send an email with a link to the US contest, at the bottom of this article, and ask if they could do the same.)

You can participate if you’re 13 years old or older by the contest sign up date of July 18, 2016. You must be eligible to attend high school in the district you compete in. Teams must have at least two students who live or attend high school in the district they compete in. And teams are limited to four people.

You also don’t have to do a phone or tablet app. Most contestants do, of course. But you’re free to create a website if that works. Apps (or websites) don’t have to be 100% perfect. You must have enough functionality to prove your idea works. The goal is to encourage you to try programming.


Become a subscriber and get access to the rest of this article. Plus all our magazine articles.

Stories also include numerous links to help parents, kids, and teachers learn more. Get access today at just $15 per year!

Subscribe Today!

Also In The June 2016 Issue

Tinkercad makes it easy to create and print 3D objects from your designs and designs others create.

Figuring out how to find prime numbers is a matter of the right strategy plus code plus trying different ideas.

There are many ways to learn technology while playing. Here are technologies and resources you might want to find online this summer.

A super portable version of Makey Makey, there's lots of experiments you can do with the new Makey Makey Go!

A computational fairytale updated for the computer age, a grasshopper learns algorithms and planning ahead.

A book about the daily life of many different programmers who do neat things with code.

The US Congressional App Challenge is an annual contest to encourage US high school students to try programming by creating an app.

Younger kids can have lots of fun playing games this summer while learning basic programming concepts.

Minecraft is a fun game to explore with a vast set of worlds, animals, and adventures. Here are ideas to continue the adventure, online and offline.

Battery history is a critical part of the history of technology. Without stored electricity, there would be no electronics.

Links from the bottom of all the June 2016 articles, collected in one place for you to print, share, or bookmark.

Interesting stories about computer science, software programming, and technology for June 2016.

A Swiss-made robot, Thymio robots work with drag and drop languages and text-based languages like JavaScript.