Press Releases

Congressman Neal Dunn Announces 2018 Congressional App Challenge

National Competition Highlights Importance of STEM Education

Jul 27 2018

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Neal Dunn, M.D. (FL-02) announced that Florida’s Second District will participate in the fourth annual Congressional App Challenge (CAC) – a programming competition for students in high school and younger. Students, individually or in teams, are tasked with creating, coding, and implementing a new and innovative computer application.

“The demand for computer programmers is rapidly growing and we cannot keep up,” Dr. Dunn said. “The Congressional App Challenge is a great way to highlight America’s talented young programmers and encourage students to develop their technology skills. By expanding interest in science and technology, we will continue to keep America on the cutting edge of innovation”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, occupations in STEM fields are projected to grow to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022, an increase of about 1 million jobs.

Last year, Hayden Nichols, a junior at Blountstown High School, won with his app, “Cardinal Squadron.” Dr. Dunn met Hayden when he joined students from across the country in Washington to present his app at the United States Capitol.

The period for official submissions to the Congressional App Challenge will run from August 1 through October 15, 2018. The competition is open to all students who meet the eligibility requirements, regardless of coding experience. Applications on all platforms are accepted. In the past, mobile apps, web apps, study tools, games, journal apps, and more have been submitted.

Winners will be selected by a panel of judges and be given congressional recognition for their achievements in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education and computer science. Their apps will be featured on a display in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on the official House of Representatives website, and on the Congressional App Challenge website.

Applicants will be judged based on the following criteria:

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

The CAC is sponsored by the Internet Education Foundation and was created to encourage to expand high school students’ interest STEM and computer-based skills. By some estimates, the U.S. may be short by many as a million programmers by 2020. To maintain American competitiveness, it’s crucial that the United States invests in our youth now, and helps them acquire these valuable skills. The CAC encourages students to pursue those skills and recognizes them for their efforts.

For further information about the Congressional App Challenge, please visit

2018 Rules: