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Congressional App Challenge: Scott Peters and Underground Elephant Team Up to Support Tech in San Diego High Schools

In conjunction with the Office of Congressman Scott Peters, Underground Elephant is excited to announce that it will be a judge in the second annual Congressional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academic Competition, referred to as the “Congressional App Challenge.”

For decades, whether we acknowledge it or not, San Diego has been transforming the world. Think about all of the groundbreaking discoveries we can look to that have originated from within our community: human genomics, biotech, telecommunications, climate change, sustainable energy, and national defense, just to name a few. San Diego is rapidly emerging as one of the most innovative cities in the United States, and the sense of economic momentum and civic transformation is palpable, from Oceanside to Chula Vista, with the most rapid change come from our technology clusters in the Torrey Pines Mesa and Downtown.

In this there is a simple truth: to sustain and build upon our momentum as an innovative community, we must inspire, attract, retain, and support our young innovators. And what better place to start than with our high schools. Moreover, as companies and cities around the world embrace the power of the shared economy, they leverage data and mobile devices to drive socio-economic innovation, so an app challenge is a great way for us to jump into the sandbox of innovation–whether we are 15 or 50 years old. To us here at Underground Elephant, that is the spirit of this competition, and it serves as a testament to Congressman Peters’ commitment to the tech sector in San Diego.

Here’s a little info from the Congressman’s App Challenge website, “This 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.”

With over 200 congressional districts across the country participating this year, the Congressional App Challenge is truly a national experiment to inspire and spotlight high school innovators. In San Diego, high schools located in Congressman Peters’ district (the 52nd) were invited to participate, with four students submitting ideas. The winner will be formally recognized by Congressman Peters.

The app submission period was from Nov 9, 2015 to Jan 15, 2016, and the winner will be announced this February. The goal is to grow this program year over year, so if you are a San Diego-based high school or student interested in participating, or a technology company looking to support this timely national initiative, then we encourage you to contact Brian Elliot, at Congressman Peters San Diego Office: 858-455-5550 / brian.elliott@mail.house.gov.

And remember to use #GoSanDiego on Twitter to support cool initiatives like this in our community.

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