Frequently Asked Questions

What are the prizes?

First place prize is $3,000. Second place is $1,500. Third is $500. The winners will receive cash (actually a check). Winners should talk with a tax advisor about any tax implications.

Who is eligible?

You must be currently enrolled in high school or studying a high school curriculum and be aged 13-19 on January 1st, 2022*. You must also be either attending high school in or be a resident of one of the following towns: Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Castine, Deer Isle, Orland, Penobscot, Sedgwick, Stonington, Surry.

Prior winners are eligible but will be expected to make substantial incremental progress across the crieria.

* Applications from motivated 8th graders will be considered.

What does “software” include?

We’re interested in your ability to make software. That might mean an App, an improvement to existing “open source” project, an Ethereum self-executing contract, a VR experience, a Raspberry Pi IoT device, a robot, etc. But, it should centrally include the act of coding, not just using someone else’s software to create content.

What does a winning submission include?

At the end of the competition you will be asked to submit the following:

  • Your Source Code — the files that contain the actual code you wrote. Make sure your work is distinct from the work of others.
  • Your Working Code – the executable form of your project or a link to it on the web.
  • A Demonstration - Either a screencast or a video of the working solution.
  • Reflections – Your reflections on the project and your experience in the context of the criteria below.
What is the criteria?

The projects will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • Proficiency — to what extent does the project demonstrate the potential for excellence from the entrant?
  • Passion — to what extent does the project demonstrate a passion for the subject area and / or technical area?
  • Potential — to what extent does the project demonstrate a set of skills that yield high-value career opportunities?
  • Participation — to what extent does the project demonstrate an ability to reach beyond one’s self, to find, use and share resources both locally and online?
  • Perserverance - to what extent does the project demonstrate the ability to overcome the inevitable challenges and roadblocks that learning and making entail?

Only projects deemed by the judges to have demonstrated substantial merit across all four criteria will be eligible for a prize award.

Can I form a team?

Yes, in fact we encourage you to do so. But, each member of the team must be eligible and our approval is required. Team size may be limited at our discretion. Any prizes will be evenly split among the team members.

What if I don’t have a project?

We can help you identify a project that showcases your skills and your passion.

Does my project qualify?

Review the judging criteria. Still have questions? Email us or just register and we’ll give you feedback.

Can I win again?

As of 2020, first place winners are ineligible to compete again. However, we are forming new ways for winners to contribute to and benefit from the competition.

How can I get help?

We have mentors with a variety of skill sets waiting to be helpful.

What if I have a great idea but need (a little) money to make it possible?

We have a small amount of funds available to fuel compelling ideas. Let’s talk. Register or email.

Can I enter something I already started?

Yes, as long as it otherwise qualifies.

What if the project isn’t finished by the deadline?

No worries. We see the project as a window into your capabilities and ambitions. It doesn’t have to be perfect for us to appreciate what you are trying to accomplish. That said, if it is just a collection of non-working parts, you have made it hard for us to find that appreciation.

Who are the judges?

We are gathering some of the most talented folks in the area and beyond to help us select the winners.

Why do I have to register?

Registration helps us better support you. It also provides you with credentials to access the Mentor Network. Don’t worry if the final project might end up different than where you started — we just want to know what you are thinking so we can help.

Who owns what I create?

You do. We take no ownership of your work. We do ask for the ability to use renderings of your project for promotional purposes.