The Utah STEM Foundation announced the awardees of its inaugural Girls Who Code (GWC) Entrepreneurial Challenge at a celebration held at Recursion on April 25, 2019.

The Utah STEM Foundation Entrepreneurial Challenge was launched to encourage greater female representation in STEM. The challenge inspires girls to pursue leadership roles and entrepreneurship roles as well as challenge them to aim for career opportunities in which women have been underrepresented.    

“Our economy, our society, we are just losing out because we are not raising our girls to be brave,” said Emily Ong, senior manager of Girls Who Code Community Partnerships and Outreach. “The bravery deficit is why women are underrepresented in STEM, in C-suites, in boardrooms, in Congress, and pretty much everywhere you look,” says Ong.

Awards were presented in four categories that addressed contemporary social issues such as social and civic engagement.

The Entrepreneurial Challenge categories included:

Essay Challenge Awards

Open to 3rd-5th-grade clubs

Challenge Essay awardees received framed certificates and $250 to expand computer science programs.

Facilitator Awards

Open to all clubs

Facilitator Awardees received framed certificates and $500 to expand computer science programs.

Peer Mentor Awards

Open to 6th-12th-grade clubs

Peer Mentor Awardees received framed certificates and $500 to expand computer science programs.

Project Challenge Awards

Open to 6th-12th-grade clubs

Three Project Challenge Awardees received framed certificates, a club trophy, and $1,000 to expand computer science programs:

  • App for NDJ — North Davis Junior High School Club
    Their “Thunkable” app is meant to connect and engage students in school-related clubs, providing details not currently offered on the school’s website.

  • Brave, Not Perfect — Juab High School Club
    Their “Beauty Run” video game provides common scenarios young girls face, rewarding them for opting to be “brave,” addressing self-esteem and confidence.

  • Elk Ridge Middle School’s Virtual 3D Tour — Elk Ridge Middle School Club
    Their “Virtual3DTour” app allows students transitioning into the school a chance to discover what’s offered at the school, who their teachers are, and where to find everything.

Most Marketable Award

The “Most Marketable” Project Challenge Awardees received framed certificates, a club trophy, and $1,500 to go toward development of their marketable project.

  • PC Hack (Park City Hackathon) — Park City High School Club
    The Park City High School Club launched its own hackathon, for girls only. Their goal is to engage more girls in coding, helping address the tech jobs gender gap.

Game Changer Award

The “Game Changer” Project Challenge Awardees received framed certificates, a club trophy, and $2,500 to go toward development of their game-changing project.

  • Food4Good — Park City High School Club
    Their Food4Good mobile app aims to eliminate food waste by connecting local restaurants with food banks and efficiently facilitating the donation of food.