House gets into STEM, app challenges


The US House of Representatives has passed a resolution that will create an annual app challenge backed by Congress. Resolution 77 creates an annual academic competition in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and establishes the first-ever app competition fostered by Congress. The effort was led by Representative Candice Miller (R-MI) and Representative Robert Brady (D-PA).

The resolution has been in the works for the past year, backed by the Internet Education Foundation as well as a steering committee that includes Google, Blackberry, AT&T, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and Motorola Mobility. These external organizations have been pushing the measure through the Congressional Internet Caucus.

The competition will be modeled after the Congressional Art Competition, and will allow Members to host an annual STEM contest for students in their congressional district. Winning entries will be recognized by the House.

During his floor statements, Internet Caucus co-chair Goodlatte (R-VA) said, “This competition will motivate our young people to further pursue programming and other technology related educational opportunities. It will also enable them to showcase their programming skills on a national stage while at the same time promoting the value of STEM education and careers.”

“Today, through its overwhelming bipartisan support of the Academic Competition Resolution, the House acknowledged the need to improve this nation’s focus on education in STEM-related fields, which have become vital in today’s global economy. As leaders, educators and parents, we must work to bring STEM education in the U.S. up to par with other countries or jeopardize losing well-paying jobs and revenue to overseas competitors. Although small, I believe that this competition is an important step towards raising national awareness and inspiring today’s youth,” Representative Miller said in a statement upon passage of the resolution.