Congressman Lamar Smith

Representing the 21st District of Texas
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Congressional STEM Competition

Congressional App Challenge

I want to invite all high school students in the 21st District of Texas to participate in the second annual Congressional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academic Competition, the "Congressional App Challenge.”  This competition is designed to engage student’s creativity and encourage their participation in STEM education fields.  Established by Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, this competition is a nationwide event that allows students from across the country to compete by creating and exhibiting their software application, or “app,” for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice. If interested, please continue reading the Congressional App Challenge FAQs below for more information on how you can participate. The Congressional App Challenge runs through January 21, 2016.

Interested students can sign up HERE.



What is the contest?

The Congressional STEM Competition was authorized by the Academic Competition Resolution of 2013 (H.Res 77) to encourage student participation in STEM fields.  Initially the competition will be in the field of computer science.  Participating students in the district will develop an app on a platform of their choice.  The Member will appoint judges to evaluate the apps and select winners.

Who can participate?

High School students who live in or are eligible to enroll in high schools located in the 21st District can participate.

Can homeschooled students participate?

Yes, any student who lives in or is eligible to attend high school in the district can compete.

Will there be an event in D.C. at the end of the competition?

At this time, there is not a D.C. event planned for the contest. 

How will the winners be recognized?

Winners will be recognized in a district awards ceremony. The district winner will be displayed on overall contest site on and There will be a display in the Capitol to honor all of the district winners.

What will they submit for the contest?

Students will submit a demonstration video of their app along with an entry form.  The source code for the app must be available for inspection by the judges.

Can students submit in teams?

Yes, the maximum team size is four students, two of whom must reside in or be eligible to attend high school in the district.

Is this only open to high schoolers?

Yes, only high school students can participate.

How are apps judged?

Apps are scored by the idea, implementation, and impact.