U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs, announced in November that his office will participate in the 2015 Congressional App Challenge that allows students to compete by creating an app for mobile devices using a platform of their choice. The competition is nationwide. A winner will be chosen in each district.
Submissions are being accepted through Jan. 15, 2016, and judging will take place from Jan. 16, 2016 to Feb. 12, 2016. Judging criteria include:
• Quality of the idea;
• Implementation of the idea; and
• Demonstrated excellence of coding and programming skills.
The app challenge began in 2014, the year before Westerman took office. This will be the first time his office has participated.
“As the economy continues to evolve and transform in the 21st Century, it is vitally important for students to have the skills necessary to compete in the job market after graduation,” Westerman said when asked about why he participated in the contest. “Programs like the Congressional App Challenge encourage students to have an interest not only coding, but math, science, engineering, and other STEM subjects.”
According to Westerman, there will be one winner from the Fourth District and four runners-up.
“The Fourth District’s winning app will be displayed in an exhibit at the U.S. Capitol and on the U.S. House of Representatives website,” he said.
There were two winners from Arkansas in 2014. One was a time-saving app called iSave from the 1st Congressional District by Philip Billings, Carmen Juarez, Truman Jones. The other winner included an app that helps children cope with cancer called Survivor Blog by Austin Wilkerson, Aspen Mann, Briley Young, Savannah Schultz.
Interested students may view a sampling of winners from last year’s contest at Storify. Participants can be either a team or individuals. They must be at least 13 years old.
Students interested in entering the Congressional App Challenge may register and learn more information about the contest at this link.