Students of all ages, abilities invited to compete in ‘Congressional App Challenge’

In this 2014 file photo, programmers of all ages compete at the fifth annual Code Camp at Dixie State University, St. George, Utah, Nov. 21, 2014 | Photo by Samantha Tommer, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Rep. Chris Stewart’s office has announced that Utah’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes St. George and surrounding areas, will be participating in the third annual “Congressional App Challenge.” The competition is open to any students in the congressional district from kindergarten through high school.

“Computer science and STEM education are crucial proficiencies for the rising generation,” Stewart said in a press statement. “By recognizing our nation’s young programming talent, I want to help encourage students to continue engaging in these fields.”

The Congressional App Challenge runs until Nov. 1 and is open to all students who meet the eligibility requirements, regardless of coding experience. Students of all skill levels are encouraged to participate and to learn how to create their own apps.

Winners will be selected by a panel of judges and be given congressional recognition for their achievements in STEM and computer science. In addition, their apps will be featured on a display in the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., on the U.S. House of Representatives website and on the Congressional App Challenge website.

The Congressional App Challenge was created because Congress recognized that STEM and computer-based skills are essential for economic growth and innovation and that the U.S. has been falling behind on these fronts.

By some estimates, the U.S. may be short by as many as a million programmers by 2020. These are high-paying, high-demand jobs. To maintain American competitiveness, the press release from Stewart’s office said, it is crucial that the United States invests in our youth now and helps them acquire these valuable skills. The challenge encourages students to pursue those skills and recognizes them for their efforts.

Click here for further information about the Congressional App Challenge.

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