Pictured: Rep. Hill with 2017 App Challenge Winner, Anne Li, and Nancy Rousseau, Principal of Little Rock Central High School, at the Innovation Hub in Little Rock.

Since I was elected to Congress, I have had the opportunity to see more than 100 apps created by high school students in Arkansas’s Second Congressional District. It was also my honor to be the Congressional App Challenge’s Republican Co-Chair from 2018-2020. These apps have covered a wide range of topics such as safety, healthcare, school lunch programs and games. I am continually encouraged by the creativity of our youth and the Congressional App Challenge is a way to highlight those in central Arkansas who are learning to code. In the last few years, Arkansas has made a name for herself as one of the leaders is app technology through organizations like the Innovation Hub and the Venture Center.

The Congressional App Challenge is designed to engage student creativity and encourage their participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education fields. This nationwide event allows high school students from across the country to compete against their peers by creating and exhibiting their software application, or "app," for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice, using the coding language(s) of their choice.

The App Challenge takes place every fall. Those interested in participating are encouraged to contact my Little Rock office by phone at (501) 324-5941. Those who do not have experience in coding are also welcome to apply. To participate, students must submit videos that either talk about what their app does or will do. This year’s rules and information can be found here.

Apps will be judged by a panel of individuals within the academic, software and entrepreneurial fields. The winning student’s app will be featured on the U.S. House of Representative’s website, as well as on display in a U.S. Capitol exhibit. Southwest Airlines will also be providing the winning student with two round-trip tickets to Washington, D.C. to attend the national #HouseofCode reception. Students can register as a team or as an individual. To register and to submit your app, click here

2015 App Challenge Winner: Michael Davis, Bryant High School, with his app “Situational Awareness.”

2016 App Challenge Winner: Michael Davis, Bryant High School, with his app “What to Do.”

2017 App Challenge Winner: Anne Li, Little Rock Central High School, with her app “Car Check.” 

2018 App Challenge Winner: David Saavedra, Clinton High School, with his app “ERNY (Emergency Response Near You).”

2019 App Challenge Winner: Anu Iyer, Little Rock Central High School, with her app, “Universal Safety App (USA): Safety App for reducing Distractions While Driving.”

2020 App Challenge Winner: Noah Taylor, Conway High School, with his app “Reaffirming Reminders.”

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