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App Challenge for 2nd Congressional Dist. Students

Deborah Bayliss | 2/6/2014, 12:22 p.m.
With the fear that the U.S. will fall short in filling technology job openings with American citizens, more and more ...
Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL), this week, announced the launch of the first annual congressional science, technology; engineering and math (STEM) academic competition called the House Student App Challenge, for the Second Congressional District.

With the fear that the U.S. will fall short in filling technology job openings with American citizens, more and more programs and initiatives are being offered to involve high school and college students in math and technology through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Match) projects and education.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL), this week, announced the launch of the first annual congressional science, technology; engineering and math (STEM) academic competition called the House Student App Challenge, for the Second Congressional District.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for students in my congressional district, and I’m excited about helping to foster their interest in science, technology, engineering and math education,” said Rep. Kelly. “The next decade is estimated to create approximately 8.5 million STEM job opportunities, but it is also estimated that the U.S. will face a shortage of 1 million STEM graduates. The House Student App Challenge seeks to address this challenge by encouraging students to create their own app and pursue an education in STEM fields.”

Established by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, the nationwide competition invites high school students from all participating congressional districts to compete by creating and exhibiting their software application, or “app,” for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice.

The App Challenge is open to all high school students who live in or are eligible to attend public schools located in the Second Congressional District.

Students entering the competition must provide a YouTube or VIMEO video demo explaining their app and what they learned through the competition process during the competition submission period between February 1, 2014 and April 30, 2014. 

More details on submitting a contest entry, the rules of the competition, and helpful programming resources can be found at www.robinkelly.house.gov/student-app-challenge on Rep. Kelly’s website or at StudentAppChallenge.house.gov.

A growing number of after-school programs for boys and girls that draw on students' interest in applications for mobile devices are evolving throughout the country. Such programs can be a gateway to learning computer programming, as well as business and marketing lessons, which educators believe equip students with lifelong skills to succeed in college and the workforce.

Gerrard McClendon, an assistant professor at Chicago State University in an open letter printed last year in Crain’s Chicago Business, called for creation of a social media APP that will help prevent crime.

McClendon’s parents were murdered by two teenagers. Reportedly, acquaintances of the murderers might have known about the plot before the tragic events transpired.

“If only there were an app where teenagers could feel safe enough to report potential crimes before they happen,” McClendon wrote in the open letter. “Chicago is the city of big shoulders but is soft on backbone when it comes to creating social media avenues to disrupt crime.”