What is the Congressional App Challenge?

The Congressional App Challenge (CAC) is a competition aimed at encouraging middle school and high school students in California’s 26th Congressional District to learn how to code by creating their own applications. The Challenge is intended to highlight the value of computer science and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and encourage students to engage in these fields. By encouraging and recognizing our nation’s young programming talent, Congress hopes to shine a light on the growing importance of these skills.

For more information, please visit www.CongressionalAppChallenge.us.

Keep an eye on this page for details about the 2019 competition.

No coding experience needed.


1. Create Your App

You can create any type of app you like, on any platform you like. In the past, we’ve seen students submit mobile apps, web apps, study tools, games, journal apps, and more.

To get you started, here are some resources you can check out. You can also look for help through various organizations that focus on teaching teen coding. Check out some of our partners, and see if there are any in your neighborhood who might be able to help you out.

The app does not have to be complete. Students may code the first few pages and provide wire frames for the rest.

Happy Coding!

2. Submit a Video About Your App

Once you have completed your app, you will need to submit a 3-minute video and answer the questions below:

  1. Short Description: What is your app trying to accomplish and why? (350 characters max.)
  2. What’s a difficulty you faced in programming your app and how did you overcome it? (1,500 characters max.)
  3. What improvements would make if you were going to create a version 2.0 of your app?  (750 characters max.)

Your video should be no more than 3 minutes, and should do the following:

  • Explain the purpose of your app.
  • Explain who your intended audience is.
  • Mention what tools and languages you used to create your app.
  • Show how your app would be used.

Once you’ve created your video, upload it to YouTube, Vimeo, or any other video-hosting site. Make sure the video is set to public. If it’s not set to public, the judges won’t be able to see it.

Note: Videos that go over 3 minutes won’t be disqualified, but the judges may penalize you at their own discretion.

Past Winners

  • 2016: Victoria Juan of Newbury Park High School created Jerd, an app to help student journalists maintain their interview recordings, notes, and picture files in one place to improve organization and fact-checking.
  • 2017: Sophia Taylor and Abigail Creech of Rancho Campana High School developed Connect Me, an app designed to help people who are experiencing domestic violence, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, and other difficult situations by connecting them with talk and text hotlines, community resources, and reminders to improve their physical and mental health.