What are GWC Challenges?
Girls Who Code Challenges are community competitions in which College Loops members, Club members and independent 9-12th grade students can build a project around the specified theme and enter to win prizes. The theme for this year is AI4FinancialGood.
Why should I participate?
Challenges are a great way to collaborate, build sisterhood, and learn something new! You’ll have the opportunity to explore a popular topic at the intersection of technology and social good, and then create a project that responds to it–with or without code. Additionally, you have the opportunity to win a $500 gift card, swag for yourself and your Club or College Loop (if applicable), and a community spotlight.
Who is eligible?
All current 6-12 Clubs and College Loops have the opportunity to submit projects to the Challenge. College Loops must submit as a group of 2 - 10 members. Club members can submit their entries individually or as a group. Independent 9-12 grade high school students who are not affiliated with a GWC Club can submit projects as well, but must have completed the Guardian Permission Form.
When can I submit my project for the 2023-2024 GWC Challenge?
The submission window for the 2023-2024 GWC Challenge will open in mid-October and close on Friday, March 1, 2024, at 11:59 pm ET. All projects will be submitted through the Project Gallery on HQ. If you upload your project before the submission window opens, it will not be eligible. (Why are we announcing now if you can’t submit? We are making some updates to the platform that aren’t fully ready yet and we want you to have plenty of time to start your project! Historically, we also have observed that most entries do not come in until after the first 3-4 weeks.)
When is the deadline for the Spring 2024 Challenge?
The deadline to submit your project is Friday, March 1, 2024, at 11:59 pm ET.
How do I get started?
For full Challenge rules, inspiration, judging criteria, and resources visit the link most relevant to you:
- I am in a 6-12th grade Club.
- I am a 9-12th grade student who is not affiliated with a Club.
- I am in a College Loop.
For full Terms and Conditions for all participants, click here.
How will the projects be judged?
Your project will be evaluated on the following criteria:
- Integration of AI
- Financial Impact
- Social Justice
- Originality and Creativity
You can find the full judging criteria in HQ at the links in the previous question.
Who are the judges?
The 2023-2024 GWC Challenge will be judged by both GWC staff and our Corporate Partners, who are professionals working in tech fields. Look out for Partner companies to be announced later this fall!
Can I work in a group?
Yes, you are welcome to work in a group! Please note that for grades 6-12, if your group project is selected as a winner, everyone in your group will split the $500 gift card. See the next question for more details.
What are the prizes?
For participants grades 6-12, GWC Challenge winning projects have the opportunity to win a gift card of $500, swag for yourself and your Club (if applicable), and a social media spotlight. There will be 2 middle school Club winners, 2 high school Club winners, & 2 independent high school winners. If the winning project is a group project, everyone in the group will split the $500 gift card. Note that gift cards and swag will be delivered to the Club Facilitator for winning Club projects and to the guardian of the independent 9-12th grade student for winning independent projects.
For College Loops participants, the prizes will be awarded as follows:
- 1st place: Each student in the winning group gets $500 per winner and a meet & greet with a member of the GWC Executive Leadership Team
- 2nd place: Each student in the winning group receives a $150 gift card and swag
- 3rd place: Each student in the winning group receives a $75 gift card and swag
As part of the GWC Challenge, Girls Who Code is proud to offer individual financial awards to college-age participants and directly address one of the most significant barriers to equity in tech — the costs of higher education. GWC Challenges and their associated prizes reaffirm Girls Who Code’s ongoing support of girls and non-binary coders from early education through career and our commitment to closing the gender gap in tech.
I’m a high schooler but I’m not in a Girls Who Code Club. Can I still participate?
Yes! 9-12 grade high school students who are not affiliated with a GWC Club are welcome to submit projects for the Challenge as long as they complete the Guardian Permission Form. Middle school students (grades 6-8) must be a Club member in order to participate.
How do I fill out the Parent/Guardian Permission Form?
Independent 9-12th grade students who are not affiliated with a GWC Club must
complete this form in order to qualify . Check out HQ to send the form to your parent/guardian’s email.
Do I need to fill out the permission form as a College Loops member?
All participating College Loops members of a group will need to fill out an opt-in form on HQ.
Does my project need to have code in it?
Nope! You just need to create a project that explores how AI can be used for financial good – the format is up to you. You could design a budget-savvy AI assistant, create an app that fosters financial literacy through AI-driven education, make a podcast that critiques AI's role in finances, or something else!
What does a winning Challenge project look like?
Check out the winning projects from the Spring 2023 Humanize AI Challenge: Create a project that explores how AI can be used for good!
- A.I Insights Podcast (Clubs Link) from St John XXIII
- Children Therapy bot: Moxie (Humanize AI Project)(Clubs Link) from Faiss MS
- How AI is Redefining Content Creation (Clubs Link) from Novi High School
- Our Experience With Face ID as Identical Twins (Clubs Link) from Shorecrest High School
High School Independent:
- AI Odyssey: Exploring AI Portfolio! (Clubs Link) by Jasmin W.
Check out the winning projects from our Spring 2023 College Loops Challenge:
I uploaded my project but I don’t see it on the Project Gallery. Help!
Each project must be approved by a GWC Staff member before it can be published. Depending on the time of year, this can take from a day up to a week. If your project is not approved due to availability of personal information (e.g. last name, email address, etc) or inappropriate content, you will get an email from HQ with instructions on how to edit your submission.
Why did GWC choose Artificial Intelligence as the theme for the 2023-2024 GWC Challenge?
At GWC, our mission is to close the gender gap in tech by empowering students with technical skills, a supportive community and access to careers in the industry. Central to our theory of change is developing students' confidence and equipping them with social capital so they can pursue meaningful careers and solve problems in their community with technology. We have taught our students that when they learn to code, they can not only make the change they want to see in the world, but by choosing a career in tech, they can change their life too. We demystify tech roles and broaden their horizons about what’s possible. STEM jobs pay 26% more than other careers.
Through our curriculum and campaigns, we showcase a diverse group of women in tech role models to highlight to our students that they can also use their skills in technology to uplift their field, their community, and just as importantly -- their own future. In order to ensure that our students have all the skills they need to succeed, and in response to student requests, we are developing a new set of activities and experiences focused on both financial literacy and AI. We know that when students and young women are more confident and knowledgeable about their finances they are more empowered to plan for and pursue financial goals that support their visions for a happy life. That is why we are excited to be developing and focusing our 2023-2024 GWC Challenge on the topic of financial literacy while incorporating the elements of AI.