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Announcing the launch of the ENIAC Classroom Design Prize, a prize competition challenging students to design creative alterations to classroom environments in order to engage more women in computer science. This contest is open to high school students and is aimed at fostering innovations that excite girls and women about computer science, was announced by the White House in December.

USASEF14 3104Named after the six women inventors of the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC), the first general purpose computer, the ENIAC Classroom Design Prize will seek to redress the shortage of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Although not prominent in the history books, the ENIAC women played a crucial role during World War II, by enacting a secret project to speed up the tedious mathematical calculations needed to produce artillery firing tables for the US Army. This classroom design initiative, honoring their memory, is spearheaded by the Youth Advisory Board of the USA Science and Engineering Festival and the Dell Youth Innovation Advisors, in partnership with Dr. Sapna Cheryan of the University of Washington, and will be open to high school students from across the United States.

How the contest works: Created to address the lack of women in computer science, the ENIAC Classroom Design Prize will engage students to create solutions through innovative design. Through the ENIAC Classroom Design Prize, teams of 3-5 high school students will compete to design strategies to alter classroom environments to redress the shortage of women who enter STEM and computer science fields.

The competition will run throughout the Spring of 2015 and will conclude at the end of May. The challenge will result in one winner and two runners up. The students who produce the top entries will be awarded cash prizes, sponsored by Dell, of $10,000, $4000, and $1000 for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions respectively and their novel ideas will be considered for additional development and eventual implementation in classrooms nationwide.

For full rules and regulations or further information, see classroomdesignprize.strikingly.com.

 

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