Do you need to keep your kid occupied this summer and beyond? Here's an amazing challenge for them.

I'm always searching for cool, out of the ordinary events and stories to share with you. When I stumbled on this, I knew I had to blog about it.

We all know the newest app craze that is captivating kids and adults alike, but how about something that would be a real educational coup for your child?

I'm talking about Congressional App Challenge, now in it's third year.

The Congressional App Challenge is open to students in all grades right through high school to develop software for smartphones or mobile devices. All of the information, rules and regulations, registration process and much more can be found on the website

While all five of Connecticut's Congressional Reps are involved, in the greater Danbury area U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty has been involved since the inception. Here's a statement from Esty's press release about the programming and coding nationwide app contest:

Congress has hosted a national art competition for over 50 years, but there has never been a science competition for high school students. That’s why my colleagues and I launched the ‘app’ competition – to encourage students interested in science, technology, engineering, and math to develop their own programs and coding projects. We have seen tremendous interest and support for this event across central and northwest Connecticut the last two years, and I can’t wait to see the innovations our students come up with in year 3.

Students may enter the contest as individuals or in teams of up to four members, and this is the first year that the competition has no age limit, as long as have you have not yet graduated high school.

The Congressional App Challenge is quite the undertaking. It is open now, and runs until November 2, 2016. So, here's a techie lovers dream, as well as something to keep your child occupied well beyond summer vacation.

Listen to Pam Brooks weekdays from 10-3PM on 95.1 FM, online at or by downloading the radioPup app for your mobile device.