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Kilmer announces STEM competition for local high school students

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) has invited high school students from Washington’s 6th Congressional District to participate in the first Congressional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academic Competition. This new “House STEM App Challenge” is a nationwide competition designed to engage students’ creativity and encourage their participation in STEM education fields.

Students will compete within their congressional district by creating and exhibiting a software application or “app” for mobile, tablet or computer devices on a platform of their choice. Students have until April 30 to submit their apps. For additional details on how to participate, see below or visit http://kilmer.house.gov/house-app-contest.

Throughout the completion period, participating students will be provided opportunities to engage with various STEM educational partners in their community to mentor and assist them with their app development. Students entering the competition must provide a YouTube video demo explaining their app and what they learned through this competition process.

The submitted apps will be judged by a panel of individuals within the academic, software and entrepreneurial fields. The winning student’s app in each participating congressional district will be featured on the U.S. House of Representatives website (www.House.gov), as well as on display in a U.S. Capitol exhibit.

“As a dad of two little girls who will one day be entering a workforce that needs skilled workers, and as a guy with a background in economic development, I know the increasing role technology is playing in the economy,” Kilmer said. “We should always look for more opportunities to engage young people about the value of a STEM education. I’m looking forward to seeing the innovative apps created by students in our region.”

Hadi Partovi, co-founder and CEO of Code.org, said, “Increased education in STEM and computer science is essential to the future of our country. Every student, not just the ones who want to pursue a career in technology, will benefit from a broad understanding of the science and especially the computer technology that powers the world around us.”

West Sound Technology Association president Charles Keating said, “Programming and technology skills are as important as math, reading and writing for brain function lateralization and a 21st-century economy. Everything from cake decorating to building houses will increasingly leverage technology, and students will need to be prepared for jobs that are quickly evolving. Code.org’s ‘Hour of Code’ initiative sparked tremendous interest, and events like the app contest will continue to build on momentum while engaging students.”

Karen Burns, a teacher-librarian at Gig Harbor High School, said, “I am a firm believer in students getting the opportunity to use technology to create products. Technology is a wonderful tool for students in many areas of the school curriculum, but it is the higher order thinking skills that students can apply to projects such as this House App Contest that bring learning through technology to fruition.”


  • The contest is open to high school students who reside in Washington’s 6th Congressional District.
  • Participants may compete individually or in groups of up to 4 students.
    • For groups of 2 students at least 1 must reside in the Washington’s 6th Congressional District.
    • For groups of 3-4 students at least 2 must reside in the Washington’s 6th Congressional District.
  • Students can verify that they live in the district by going to https://www.pbcelections.org/precinctfinder.aspx or https://www.browardsoe.org/precinctfinder.aspx and selecting My Districts
  • To submit an entry:
    • Create an account on http://challengepost.com and register for the House Student App Contest.
    • Create an App Demonstration Video of no more than 2 minutes that demonstrates the scope and quality of the app.
    • Create a Developer Video of no more than 1 minute in which the participant describes how they created the app and what they learned.
    • Upload both videos to YouTube or VIMEO and submit the links through http://challengepost.com.
    • Submit an entry form through http://challengepost.com.
  • Entries will be judged on:
    • Quality of the idea (including creativity and originality).
    • Implementation of the idea (including user experience and design).
    • Demonstrated excellence of coding and programming skills.
  • The winning app will be featured on the US House of Representatives website www.house.gov and Representative Derek Kilmer’s website http://kilmer.house.gov and will also be on display in a US Capitol exhibit.

For more information, contact Rohan in Kilmer’s office at (360) 373-9725.

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