Press Releases

Larsen Announces 2017 Congressional App Challenge & Hackathon

Washington, DC, August 9, 2017
Tags: Education

Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) today announced the launch of the 2017 Congressional App Challenge & Hackathon – an opportunity for students to learn key computer science skills by creating their own original applications.

The competition – which runs through November 1st – is open to k-12 students who live in or attend school in Washington’s 2nd Congressional District. Students may compete as individuals or in teams up to four. Local experts will evaluate submissions and winners will be announced in early December.

The 2017 Hackathon, which will be hosted at Whatcom Community College, will take place October 7-8, 2017, for students participating in this year’s Congressional App Challenge. No formal coding skills are required to participate, and students are encouraged to come with an idea for an app, or the beginnings of a project. Several coding lessons will be taught on both days, and students will have the opportunity to work on their apps with a mentor as well as present their apps to Congressman Larsen, Whatcom Community College staff and peers.

“The 2017 Congressional App Challenge and Hackathon are perfect opportunities for students in Washington’s 2nd Congressional District to give coding a try,” said Larsen. “This competition is just one more way to help make sure young folks in our community gain the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills needed to find good-paying STEM jobs and grow our economy in the Pacific Northwest.”

Students can RSVP for the 2017 Hackathon HERE & sign up for the 2017 Congressional App Challenge HERE.

In 2016, then-Burlington-Edison high school senior Alexandria Kissas won the Congressional App Challenge for Washington’s 2nd Congressional District.

By some estimates there are nearly a quarter of a million unfilled programming jobs in the United States, and according to the Boston Consulting Group, there are as many as 25,000 unfilled science, technology, engineering and mathematics jobs in Washington state. The competition is an effort to maintain American competitiveness by proactively inspiring youth to pursue crucial STEM skills.

Eligible students can sign up to participate in the App Challenge at Additional questions can be directed to Laura Gelwicks in Congressman Larsen’s office at or (425) 252-3188.