Lee Terry Leading Congressional STEM Competition

STEMWe’ve discussed the skills gap on the blog before, especially as the shortage of skilled workers becomes more pronounced in the United States. It’s just another reason to invest in the future of manufacturing, and to explain and inform students, parents, and teachers of why STEM skills are so important to the future of our country.

This year, Congress is listening and providing a step towards answering the problem. This charge is led by a Nebraskan (we’re not surprised), Congressman Lee Terry of Omaha. Recently, Terry announced the 2014 House of Representatives Student App Challenge, designed to inspire American high school students to further their studies in STEM.

Congressman Terry chairs the Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade subcommittee in Washington, and is a firm believer in the skills gap and the need to increase the percentage of skilled workers in America. Leaders in Omaha’s technological community, including Flywheel founder and CTO Tony Noecker, will be the judges of the contest.

The challenge? High school students are invited to create a smartphone app to showcase their creative abilities and strengthen skills in coding. This invites collaboration, as well: students can create their app in a group or individually. Until April 30, 2014, students can submit an app that will be graded on creativity, excellence of coding, and implementation of the general idea. The app can use any generally available platform, and must be equipped for both tablet and mobile use.

Almost everything about the submission is up to the creator, with the exception of a few rules. Each submission must include an application demonstration video (equipped for YouTube or Vimeo) as well as a developer video featuring the creator. The source code for the app must be provided, and all submissions must be original. Just like in high school, no plagiarizing is allowed!

The winners will find out in late May or early June, and will be recognized in a ceremony in Congressman Terry’s office. The winning app will be featured on an interactive video board in Washington D.C.’s United States Capitol Building, as well as the official House of Representatives website for one full year. Anyone entering will be up against competitors from Nebraska’s Second Congressional District.

There is no shortage of Nebraska startups and corporations looking for fantastic young tech talent, so the contest is also an exciting opportunity for both students and employers.

To learn more about the contest rules, fine print, and entry, visit Congressman Terry’s website.

photo credit: Inkyhack via photopin cc