Congressional smartphone and tablet app design contest

Congress is challenging high school students around the country to design an app for smartphones and tablets.

Congressman Dan Benishek visited Ishpeming High School to kick off the competition this afternoon. The Congressional App Challenge should encourage interest in science, technology, engineering and math education. Students can enter individually or as part of a team.

“Maybe (I’ll enter) with a few friends, but not myself. I’m not good at that stuff,” Ishpeming High School senior Austin Wilkins said. “It’s pretty cool to get everyone involved and have us experience the development of technology and have us learn for the future.”

The entry period begins on February 1st and lasts through April 30th. The winning app from each Congressional district will be posted on the House of Representatives website in May.

“They’ll have opportunities to pick what they want to do, a productivity app or a game or anything like that, just to get kids interested in technology and 21st-century jobs here in northern Michigan,” Benishek said.

Students don’t need any experience designing apps to enter, either. Benishek’s office has instructions and additional resources. A Michigan Tech professor has also pledged to help answer specific questions that students may have during the process.

Anyone who wants more information about the contest can find it on Benishek’s website.

Ishpeming students that spoke with Benishek during his visit asked him about the health care law and about what advice he’d have for anyone their age that might want to start their own business.