Rep. Morgan Griffith encourages students to participate in 2019 Congressional App Challenge

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Congressman Griffith with last year’s winners, Lebanon High School students Roger Mullins, William Osborne and Nathanael Ray, pictured from left to right. Every Craig County middle and high school student is encouraged to participate in the competition this year.

Shawn Nowlin
shawn.nowlin@mainstreetnewspapers.com

U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith is encouraging teenagers in Virginia’s 9th District to participate in the Congressional App Challenge (CAC). Created five years ago by the House of Representatives, CAC is a bipartisan effort to encourage students to grasp how to code through yearly competitions. It is supported by over 250 Members of Congress in their home districts.

The challenge is open to all middle and high school students, regardless of coding level experience. Participants can either work on their own or as part of a team up to four students. If competing as a team, at least two must be eligible to compete in the district in which they are participating.

STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, was first coined as an educational concept by the National Science Foundation in the early 2000s. Despite representing almost half of the population, women account for less than 25 percent of the STEM workforce.

“The Congressional App Challenge offers high school students the opportunity to display their talents, engage their creativity and explore the fields of STEM education,” Rep. Griffith said. “Last year’s Ninth District winners were Lebanon High School students Roger Mullins, William Osborne and Nathanael Ray, with their app VoteIT. I look forward to the ideas this year’s competitors will bring forward and develop.”

The first Congressional Challenge App took place in 2015. Since then, the program has inspired more than 1,400 students across 45 states and territories to code approximately 4,000 apps for tablets, desktop PCs, mobiles, web and other platforms.

“This app challenge was designed to highlight the value of computer science and STEM education, help to shine a light on the growing importance of these skills and encourage student engagement,” said Kevin Baird, Rep. Griffith’s Communications Director. “After winners are selected, they are invited to attend the #HouseOfCode Capitol Hill reception in Washington, D.C, where they demonstrate their apps to Members of Congress. They will also receive $250 in Amazon Web Service credits and get to have their work featured on the website of the House of Representatives.”

The deadline to submit an app is Friday, November 1. Visit www.CongressionalAppChallenge.us to register or obtain more information about the competition.

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