Wildfire alerts, stress management wearables, ocean-cleaning robots and 3D braille readers – these were just some of the ideas presented by teen girls at the 14th Annual Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation’s Website Design Contest.
Fourty-four middle and high school students competed in this year’s contest, which took place at Harman International in Novi.
“The quality and imagination of the girls’ presentations demonstrated that Michigan is nurturing an incredibly talented generation of women who will pursue their passion to change the world through technology,” said Melanie Kalmar, president of the Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation and CIO at Dow.
The contest kicked off last October with free coding and design training for the students. Next, they built websites, using HTML and CSS, centered on the theme of real or imagined products or services positively impacting the world. The cutoff for submissions was Dec. 3.
On Jan. 11, the girls, some in teams and others by themselves, presented their websites to a panel of tech industry leaders and a roomful of their peers, families and teachers. Winners were selected from three categories – high school advanced, high school beginner and middle school – and were awarded monetary prizes.
Oakland County winners were Sumedha Valapudi, Novi High School student, who won first place in the advanced category, and Rithika Karthikeyan and Arunima Vasudev, students at Boulan Park Middle School in Troy, who won second place in the middle school category.
“The girls were so proud to share their work and ideas,” said Meghan E. Giammarusti, Michigan Council of Women in Technology mission lead for high school programming and experience lead at Ford Motor Company.
“The Website Design Contest solidifies MCWT efforts to invest in young girls to help them gain confidence from a technical and social perspective.”
Visit mcwtwebdesign4girls.net/2019-winners to check out the winning website designs.
-Monica Drake, MediaNewsGroup