Education

Ryan Announces Start to 2019 Congressional App Challenge

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Middle and high school students have a chance to flex their coding muscles in this year’s Congressional App Challenge.

Since 2015, the Congressional App Challenge has opened the door for students to earn national recognition for their achievements in designing and programming mobile applications, or apps. Since it began, more than 14,000 students from 48 states have participated, including those from Ohio’s 13th district.

“Each year, I am amazed by the creativity and ingenuity of our students,” U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13, Ohio. “The goal of the app challenge is to continue the growth and innovation in the science, technology, engineering and math fields and to encourage students to excel in those disciplines. I am very much looking forward to seeing what our students come up with this year.”

Ryan was co-chair of the 2017 competition with U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-27, Florida. In a release, Ryan’s office announced the submission portal for the challenge is now open and students are encouraged to register online by Sept. 10. App submissions are due Nov. 1.

More than 250 members of Congress have opened a challenge in their district, with dozens more expected to follow in the coming weeks, according to a release by the Internet Education Foundation, the official outside “sponsor” of the competition. The challenge is “the largest series of student coding competitions in the world,” stated Tim Lordan, the foundation’s executive director.

Image: Internet Education Foundation

The challenge is designed to encourage middle and high school students to get involved in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM, particularly computer science. According to the Congressional App Challenge website, there are nearly a quarter of a million unfilled programming jobs in the U.S, according to the website.

By 2020, those numbers could increase to as many as one million programmers short of what’s needed, according to Ryan’s office. By inspiring students to pursue such skills, the challenge is an effort to maintain American competitiveness in the field.

Students of all skill levels are encouraged to participate. District winners are selected by panels of judges from the community and the apps will be eligible to be featured in the U.S. Capitol building on House.gov and on the challenge website. Go to CongressionalAppChallenge.us/students/student-registration to register.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.