Got code? Area students urged to create computer apps in Congressional contest

Want to inspire your child to pursue a career in computer science? There’s an app for that.

Middle and high school students in Central Michigan are invited to create and code original apps for a chance to win the 2021 Congressional App Challenge.

Launched in 2015, the national competition is an initiative of the U.S. House of Representatives. Members of Congress host contests in their districts, encouraging students to learn to code – and inspiring them to pursue careers in computer science.

U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, is hosting the challenge in Michigan’s 4th Congressional District, which is comprised of 15 counties: Clare, Clinton, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Ogemaw, Osceola, Roscommon, Shiawassee, and Wexford counties, as well as parts of Montcalm and Saginaw counties. 

In 2020, over 6,500 students registered for the contest, creating and submitting 3,088 functioning apps. Past submissions from the 4th District included apps that help students track school buses on their routes or helped families to plan healthy meals.
U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland.
“It is encouraging to see students use their critical thinking skills and education in such a positive way,” says Moolenaar.

Computer science careers are the No. 1 source of new jobs in the nation and are projected to grow at twice the rate of all other jobs.

“Encouraging Michigan students to learn high-tech skills like coding will position them for career success in our rapidly changing workforce,” says Megan Schrauben, Executive Director of the MiSTEM Network, which unites education, business, and community partners across the state to create pathways for all students to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Moolenaar says he encourages all regional middle and high school students to take part in the Congressional App Challenge.

“I believe STEM education is important in order to prepare students to become the scientists and engineers of tomorrow – and the App Challenge is an opportunity for them to learn more about coding and show off their skills,” says Moolenaar.

Students can participate individually or in teams of up to four people. The winning person or team from Michigan’s 4th District will have their app displayed in the U.S. Capitol. The deadline for entries is Monday, Nov. 1 at 12 p.m. Eastern time. 

Rules and a checklist for submissions are online at congressionalappchallenge.us.  Additional questions can be directed to U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar’s Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-3561. 
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