This year marked the first annual Congressional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academic Competition, the “House App Contest.” This new competition is designed to engage student’s creativity and encourage their participation in STEM education fields. Established by Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2013, this competition is a nationwide event that allows high school students from across the country to compete by creating and exhibiting their software application, or “app,” for mobile, tablet, or computer devices on a platform of their choice. Throughout the completion period, participating students will be provided opportunities to engage with various STEM educational partners located within the community to mentor and assist them with their app development.
The “House App Contest” is open to all high school students in the 1st Congressional District of Nebraska. Students entering the competition must have submitted their app’s source code online by 12 PM Eastern Standard Time on MAY 31ST, 2014, as well as provide a YouTube or VIMEO video demo explaining their app and what they learned through this competition process.
To enter, the student must create an account on www.challengepost.com and then register for the House Student App Contest under their participating Member of Congress’ profile during the Competition Submission Period. All entries must be an original in concept, design and execution.
Resources for Students and Teachers
- 36 Resources To Help You Teach Kids Programming
- CodeAcademy.COM self-taught courses in HTML/CSS, Python, Ruby, and PHP
- MIT App Inventor tutorial to develop mobile apps on Android phones.
- Scratch a simple visual programming language
- Alice is used to create 3D animations
- The Congressional App Challenge Coalition
- Facebook for Developers
Software design tools
Design tools are used to support the application design process before actual coding of the application. One artifact in app design is called a wireframe. Creating a wireframe as part of the design process can help you to design a visually attractive and functional app. Read an introduction to web wireframes.
Free Wireframe Resources
Software design tools vary widely in terms of their features and the time required to become productive. You may want to take a look at several tools to find one that is a good fit for your skills and project.
- A list of 10 free Wireframing Tools for Designers
- Mockingbird has a free plan - 1 project with 10 pages; 2 users; no archived projects
- QuirkTools: Free for up to three active projects
- Use 'Drawings' on Google Docs for very rapid and simple wireframe sketching
- Proto.io - free for a five screen project
- FireFox Pencil is a free browser add-on
Free Graphic Design Resources
PSD stands for Photoshop Document. It is the default Photoshop file format and is widely used and supported to some extent by competing programs.
- This list is a sample of available tools. There are many more resources available on the web. Feel free to search for additional resources.