WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — A nationwide app challenge is now open to students.

Considered the “most prestigious prize in student computer science,” the 2021 Congressional App Challenge has begun. The challenge provides students interested in the field with an opportunity to design, create and showcase an original app.

The challenge is centered on “connecting today’s Congress with tomorrow’s coders,” as the challenge is changing how Congress views computer science and STEM.

Challenge organizers stated that since the challenge was first launched, mentions of computer science and coding in Congress has increased 2,000%.

Local Congresswoman Elise Stefanik announced the challenge and promoted it for North Country students.

“I have witnessed firsthand the creativity and talent of students throughout the North Country and I am excited to announce this opportunity for those who are interested in coding and app design,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “The winning app will be proudly displayed in the United States Capitol for one year. I encourage all middle and high school students to submit their projects – I look forward to seeing what you all create!”

Congressional App Challenge participants will have access to 15 hours of free educational resources which includes step-by-step instructions on how to successfully build a web or mobile app.

Students are permitted to use any programming language and any platform with no limits on application theme or topic. Eligible students must be in middle or high school at the time of app submission. Students may also register as individuals or teams up to four.

Winning apps are eligible to be displayed in the United States Capitol Building and will be featured on the House of Representative’s website. Winning students will also be invited to the House of Code Capitol Hill Reception in Washington, D.C.

The deadline for the Congressional App Challenge is November 1, 2021. Winners will be announced in December 2021.