High School, College Coding Competition Now Accepting Submissions
Applications are now being accepted for the second annual Dream It. Code It. Win It. competition, in which high school and college students are asked to present a problem, write computer code to solve the problem and then demonstrate the results in a YouTube video.
The deadline for submissions for the competition that will offer $50,000 in prize money is March 29. The final awards ceremony will be held at the Great Hall of The Cooper Union in New York City April 30. For more information on submitting projects for the competition, go to dreamitcodeitwinit.org.
Dream It. Code It. Win It. organizer Cristina Dolan said this competition is different from most "hackathons" or other competitions because, first, the focus is on coding and, second, contest judges evaluate the quality of the problem to be addressed as well as the ultimate solution.
Dolan said the first year's competition had more than 50-percent participation by female students and enabled four teams to start their own companies.
"The biggest problem facing women and engineering — and STEM in general — is getting more women into the pipeline," said Georgia Garinois-Melenikiotou, executive vice president of corporate marketing for Estee Lauder, one of the competition's prize sponsors. "Resolving this problem requires us to transform some of the perceptions that remain embedded in society. That's why competitions like this are so important."
Last year's college division winners were David Taitz and Hikari Senju, roommates at Harvard College, who create a map-based notification app that enabled them and their classmates to get together more effectively than other off-the-shelf apps.
The high school division first-place award went to a team from Stuyvesant High School in New York City that created a Web-based app, Cartwheels, that allows people to review and find food carts in New York, similar to the way Yelp! evaluates more conventional restaurants.
Each team won $20,000.
"Dream It. Code It. Win It. alters the prism through which computer science is viewed by illuminating what the study can offer and the limitless potential it possesses," said CEO Philippe Buhannic of Trading Screen, a company that makes software for investment banks and is a sponsor of the competition along with MIT Enterprise Forum, a consultancy that coaches technology entrepreneurs.
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.