Students compete in Congressional app challenge


Nicole Miguez

Students interested in coding can join the Congressional App Challenge. It is an opportunity for teens to learn coding and create their own app. Those interested can enter alone, or as a team.

Nicole Miguez, Reporter

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All high school and middle school students have been invited by Congress to participate in the 2018 Congressional App Challenge, a nationwide competition that allows students to compete within their district to create their own app. These apps can be made for anything, including phones, computers and the internet.

“We interact with coding everyday in our lives, whether it be on our personal devices or our TV at home,” AP computer science principles teacher, Jennifer Dejong, said. “Students can get involved with the process and better understand how it affects our everyday lives.”

Based on past winners, Dejong said she and her students have noticed that every app had a helpful and important major function, a unique component, and clear effort was put into the creation of the app.

“The challenge is giving us a new perspective on how computer science works,” student Amy Kunkur said. “When you enter an app, you don’t really realize how they make it. When we try it ourselves, we begin to understand the effort that goes into it and learn more about coding.”

Local judges will be evaluating the apps, deciding who the winner will be. Students can compete how they choose, whether it be alone or in a four-person team. Dejong’s classroom has eight teams who are all creating their own unique apps.

“They’ll be able to work with partners, which teaches students collaboration and helps them learn to code,” Dejong said. “They’ll be able to see the big picture of how the code works the way it does and how we interact with it.”

The winning team or student will be featured on the U.S. House of Representatives website, the Congressional App website, and will have a display in a U.S. Capitol exhibit in Washington, D.C.

The registration deadline is Sept. 10. Students who would like to participate need to submit a video of the app and say what they learned during the competition on by noon (EST) on Oct. 15, 2018.