Contests are one of the earliest forms of entertainment known to civilization. However, modern innovations and technologies have changed the landscape of competitions.
A good example of a modern contest is the STEM Academic Competition, or simply the House APP Contest, which the House of Representatives established early last year. In an article for The New Virginian, Congressman Bob Goodlatte writes that the objective of the contest is to “help encourage student participation in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM.” Rep. Goodlatte also describes the contest mechanics in the article.
Those participating in the Sixth District’s contest have the opportunity to design and mock-up an app or design and develop a working app. Students entering the competition must submit a video that features either a demonstration of a working app or an in-depth analysis of the concept and design of the app mock-up by the April 30, 2014 deadline. The video must also explain what the student learned through this competition process. The winning student’s app in each participating congressional district will be featured on the U.S. House of Representatives’ website and will also be on display in a U.S. Capitol exhibit.
The House APP Contest exemplifies a modern contest in several ways. First, its objective is to promote a cause and encourage a new mindset among the country’s population, which is a variation from the more traditional purpose of a contest to simply promote a business. Second, the contest makes use of online apps like the contest website and video platforms like YouTube and VIMEO. The use of Internet-based apps allows participants from around the country to join without having to physically send their entries or travel to a contest venue.
Managing online contests, however, is no easy feat. While such events do away with much of the physical logistics needed in traditional contests, they offer their own challenges such as the administration of online traffic that comes from contest registrants, participants, and inquirers. Thankfully, contest organizers can now rely on innovative contest management software like those programs developed by Skild, Inc. This kind of software provides solutions to the various concerns of online contest organizers, like managing registration and entries, collating feedback, and branding.
A reliable contest app can also be customized so it can be used as a platform for similar contests. If one online contest is highly successful, for example, and the organizers wish to run it again the following year, they can use the app to simply update the details appropriate for the following year’s event, while maintaining branding. Such an investment can make the designing, management, and launching of online contests much easier undertakings.
(Source: Goodlatte: House App Contest encourages students to develop software, the News Virginian, 23, Feb, 2014)