Four local members of Congress are calling on students from kindergarten through high school to create their own software applications to compete in the third annual Congressional App Challenge.

Students who live or attend school in the districts of U.S. Reps. Joaquín Castro, Lamar Smith, Henry Cuellar and Lloyd Doggett can enter individually or in teams of up to four. (At least two students per team must meet the district eligibility requirements for their teams to qualify.)

Students can create apps on platforms of their choice for mobile devices, tablets or computers. Entrants must submit a video exhibiting their app and describing what they learned from the competition to by noon Eastern time on Nov. 1.

Local judges who work in the academic, software or entrepreneurial fields will choose winners for each congressional district and results will be announced in early December during Computer Science Education Week. The winning apps are eligible to be featured on the U.S. House website and exhibited in the Capitol in Washington.

“We must prepare our students for degrees in STEM subjects to ensure that they have the ability to thrive in today’s technology-based economy,” Smith, a San Antonio Republican who chairs the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, said in a prepared statement.

“This means motivating more American students to study STEM subjects, including computer science. The App Challenge is a great way to get students, parents and teachers engaged and working together.”

More than 200 congressional districts nationwide are participating in the challenge.

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