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Library of Congress launches data challenge for "citizen coders," high school students

The best high school project for analyzing congressional data will receive an award of $1,000.

Kate Roddy
Kate Roddy Staff Reporter

Kate Roddy is a contributing writer at Scoop News Group, parent of EdScoop.

The Library of Congress' Main Reading Room. (Getty Images)

The Library of Congress launched a public competition Thursday, inviting participants — or "citizen coders" — to develop digital solutions that analyze and present congressional data through a user-friendly platform.

The Congressional Data Challenge aims to promote the “discovery, use and exploration of the collection of legislative information” that the Library of Congress provides through

“There is so much information now available online about our legislative process, and that is a great thing,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in a statement. “But it can also be overwhelming and sometimes intimidating. We are asking citizen coders to explore ways to analyze, interpret or share this information in user-friendly ways. I hope this challenge will spark an interest in the legislative process and also a spirit of information sharing by the tech-savvy and digital humanities pioneers who answer the call.”

Projects submitted to the challenge are judged on three measures: usefulness, creativity and design. The Library of Congress offered a few examples for potential project ideas, including interactive visualizations, mobile or desktop applications, or websites.

Submissions will be accepted through April 2, 2018, and must include a two-minute demonstration video that describes the project, notes the data sources used, and explains the project’s benefits.

The first-place winner will receive a $5,000 award, and the best high school submission will receive a $1,000 award.

This competition follows the recent debut of, a collaborative site from the Library of Congress that encourages the public to engage in coding and research projects that creatively utilize the library’s online archives.

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