Congressional App Challenge

Every year, the members of U.S. House of Representatives host a district-wide Congressional App Challenge for middle school and high school students. Congressman Lou Correa will host his annual Congressional App Challenge, in efforts to encourage students to learn to code and inspire them to pursue careers in computer science.

This nationwide effort allows students to compete against their peers by creating an app of their choice for mobile, tablet, or computer devices. There are NO LIMITS on application theme or topic! No background or experience in computer science is needed, 44% of past app challenge participants described themselves as beginners. The Congressional App Challenge’s mission is to inspire, include, and innovate efforts around STEM, Coding, and Computer Science Education.


To be eligible to participate in the Congressional App Challenge, you must be a middle or high school student at the time of the app submission. Students may register as individuals or as teams of up to four. Students must live or go to school within California’s 46th Congressional District, to participate in Congressman Lou Correa’s app challenge.

Register and Submit

The Congressional App Challenge is a competition aimed to encourage U.S. middle and high school students to learn how to code by creating their own applications. Submissions will be judged on the following criteria: creativity and originality, design and user experience, and demonstration of student’s programming skills. The app winner from CA-46, chosen by a panel of expert judges and Congressman Lou Correa, will have their app displayed in the US Capitol Building and featured on Congressman Lou Correa’s website. Winning students are invited to the House Of Code Capitol Hill reception in Washington D.C.

Enter here!

For more information, visit the official Congressional App Challenge website or contact my Santa Ana office here or by phone at 714-559-6190!

Deadline for Submission:

The challenge will run until Wednesday, November 1st, 2023.

FAQ: What is the Congressional App Challenge?

Established by Members of the US House of Representatives in 2015, the Congressional App Challenge is a nationwide event that invites high school students to compete by creating and exhibiting their software application or app for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice. The competition is designed to engage the creativity of students and encourage their participation in computer sciences and STEM.

Q: Who can participate?

A: K-12 students are eligible if you live or attend school in California’s 46th District, and have not graduated from high school.

Q: Am I eligible to participate in the Congressional App Challenge?

A: You are eligible if you live or attend school in a participating district, and have not graduated from high school. To be eligible to participate in the Congressional App Challenge, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • You must reside or attend school in a district with a participating Representative.
  • (You can see which district you live in here, and you’ll be able to check which districts are participating, here.)
  • You must be eligible to attend school in the district in which you’re competing.
  • (If you attend school in a different district than the one in which you reside, you may compete in either district, but you may only compete in one.)

Q: Can student submit in teams?

A: Yes! Students are allowed to submit apps in teams of up to four (4) students, provided that at least two of the teammates are eligible to participate in the district the team competing in. Teams with more than four Members will not be considered eligible.

Q: What if my teammates and I live in different districts?

A: That’s alright, as long as at least 2 of the teammates are eligible to participate in the same district. For example, if you and your teammate live in different districts, but attend the same high school, your team would be eligible to participate in the district your high school is located in (as long as that Member of Congress has signed up.) If you and your teammate live in different districts and go to school in different districts, you will not be eligible to compete as a team.

Q: What if two of us worked on an app together, but aren’t eligible in the same district. Can we both submit the app to our own districts, as individuals?

A: No. Any app created may only be submitted to the Congressional App Challenge once. This is to make sure that students can’t just submit an app they created as many times as possible, to get a better chance of winning.

Q: When will the contest occur?

A: Students can register and submit an entry from July to November. Judging will take place in November.

Q: Do I have to create a specific type of app?

A:No! You can create an app about whatever topic you’re passionate about, whether it’s a game or a tool, on whatever platform you like.

Q: What are the requirements for the app?

A: Submissions must:

  • Be original;
  • Be solely owned by Contestant such that no other party has any rights or interest, whether known or unknown;
  • Have been created within the last year.

Submissions must not:

  • Be indecent, defamatory, in obvious bad taste, demonstrate a lack of respect for public morals or conduct or adversely affects the reputation of congressional district:
  • Be illegal under applicable laws;
  • Depict hatred, defame, threaten a specific community in the society or incite violence;
  • Contain vulgar language or violence; or
  • Contain pornography, obscenity or sexual activity.
  • Violate the intellectual property, or privacy rights of other parties.

Q: Can my app be a web app, or does it have to be a mobile app?

A: You can create any type of app, mobile, web, desktop or anything else. The majority of students have chosen to create mobile apps in the past, but you are free to use whatever platform you like. It won’t have any impact on the judging process.

Q: I created an app for a different project or program. Can I submit that app to the competition?

A: Absolutely. Students are allowed to submit apps that they created for other programs or projects, as long as it meets the other eligibility requirements listed above.

Q: Do I have to submit a fully developed app, or can I just submit an idea for an app?

A: This is a coding competition, so your app should have some level of functionality.

Q: How many apps can I submit?

A: One.

Q: How will our apps be judged?

A: Your apps will be judged based on quality of the idea; implementation of the idea; and demonstrated excellence of coding and programming skills.

  • Quality of the idea (including creativity and originality)
  • Implementation of the idea (including user experience and design);
  • Demonstrated excellence of coding and programming skills.

Q: Who will judge our apps?

A: Panels of local judges. What if I still have some questions that aren’t on this list of FAQs? Contact my office with any further questions on the app competition.