Student Programmer Competition Promotes Creativity, Diversity

January 16, 2014
By Helen Mosher

A competition for student programmers will recognize the importance of other disciplines and focus areas than the ones commonly associated with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), such as art (design), diversity and digital literacy. “Dream it. Code it. Win it.” is organized by MIT and TradingScreen and will award more than $50,000 in scholarships and prizes to winners of the competition. Entrants must be at least 18 years old and enrolled at accredited colleges and universities in the United States. The deadline for entry is March 30, 2014.

Organizers emphasize this is not a “hack-a-thon,” a term used to describe many coding competitions, but instead the event shines a spotlight on the creative and flexible ways code can be used. “Programming has nearly limitless potential to transform our world, helping us solve problems, create new opportunities and explore new boundaries,” Philippe Buhannic, chief executive officer, TradingScreen, says. “Coders hold the key to this transformation, and it’s critical for all of us to support young programmers to develop their skills and help make this potential a reality.”

The approach is meant to encourage participation from underrepresented demographics, particularly women, who make up just 23 percent of STEM workers versus 48 percent of the total work force, according to the National Math and Science Initiative.

For more information, visit or like the contest on Facebook at

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