Make beats, no experience necessary.
The Your Voice Is Power coding competition and learning experience challenges students to remix beats while learning to code.
For the competition, students use EarSketch, a free online code editor, to compose a unique musical remix using songs from top recording artists including, Pharrell William’s new song “Entrepreneur”. Students can also participate in the curriculum and experience how computer science, music, and entrepreneurship can advance equity.
No experience is necessary to participate . Submitted remixes will be judged based on quality of music, code, and messaging by a panel of industry professionals.
Students can compete with their class or on their own from December 1st, 2021 to June 19th, 2022. Five students will win a $5,000 scholarship or grant to start a business, and five teachers will receive $1,000 for above and beyond instruction.Competition TimelineRound OneOpens: December 1, 2021
Closes: February 7, 2022
Finalists Announced: March 2022Round TwoOpens: February 8, 2022
Closes: June 19, 2022
Finalists Announced: July, 2022
Grand Prize Announced: August, 2022
Requirements for Submission
A remix of one of our three featured artists’ songs coded on the EarSketch platform that promotes a message of equity that meets the following requirements:
- Length of 30 seconds to 3 minutes
- Include five distinct tracks
- One audio clip from Pharrell Williams’s Entrepreneur song
- Runs in the EarSketch DAW without error(s)
- Code includes one custom function to define song sections (for MS/HS students only)
5 Grand Prize Winners: $5000 scholarship or grant to start a business.
2 Division Winners per round: $500 Amazon Gift Card
10 Finalists per round: $200 Amazon Gift Card + merchandise from YELLOW.
100 Semi-finalists per round: $25 Amazon Gift Card
Five teachers will win a $1000 cash prize for above and beyond instruction with Your Voice is Power. All teachers with ten or more student submissions will be eligible and contacted to apply.
If you want to implement Your Voice is Power in your classroom prior to December 1st, 2021, you can teach the 2021 Curriculum. (All competition requirements will be the same for 2021 and 2022)
I’ve seen people not having the resources to benefit one’s self due to racial injustice and what happens when they make the best out of what they have. I also have a bigger understanding of stereotypical things people tend to expect when they see black people. People get so surprised when they see a black person as an entrepreneur, but like anyone else they’re doing what they have to do to make a living. Lately I’ve tried to do what I can to inspire others. I can promote equity by encouraging others to use their talents and passion to make their own sources of income, so they don’t have to answer to anyone. They could create jobs for the overall community. Through the YVIP Competition I learned that I could do something I love while also coding.
During the course of the YVIP unit, I learned a lot about what it means to be an entrepreneur, especially one who is in the minority category. As a minority myself, it was interesting seeing the different perspectives and experiences from these black entrepreneurs and how they were able to flesh out their business and still prosper with the added hardships that an otherwise privileged white person wouldn't have. Along with that, I've also learned a lot about coding too. This class was the first time I've coded anything so it was interesting to learn how python works and how many functions can be used to execute a simple or complex task.
This experience has taught me that there are creative and innovative ways to break down racial barriers. Through programs like EarSketch, young artists can create music without having access to a state-of-the-art recording studio. I was able to combine my love of music and newfound knowledge of computer science to share a critical message about racial inequality in today’s society. I hope my song reminds listeners that the time for change is now, and if we don’t actively fight towards racial equity today, we will never reach it tomorrow.
I came into this competition as part of a school assignment, but it became so much more than that. It is all about supporting black entrepreneurship, thus promoting equity, and I hope that my music can help that cause. Along the way, I learned so much about Python. I kept exploring and testing, and was amazed to discover the unique possibilities that EarSketch offers! It led to many challenges, but all of it was worth it. I will use what I've learned from this experience to make even better music and work towards supporting other causes to do more for my community.
My song serves as a reminder to black people, especially young black children, that we are capable of much more than we are given credit for. It is important for us to believe in ourselves and each other, and to appreciate the skin we were blessed with. I thought that it was a really cool idea to mix music with raising awareness on an issue that can never be talked about enough. I learned how to code music and merge different clips together to make one sound/ song. Also, I had to learn about tempo and decide which would be the best for the message of my song.
How and when will winners be chosen and notified? What are the prizes?For students: For Round 1, Georgia Tech will notify the top 10 finalists, 2 division winners, and 100 runner ups in March, 2022. For Round 2, Georgia Tech will notify the top 10 finalists, 2 division winners, and 100 runner ups in July, 2022. All twenty finalists win a $200 Amazon Gift Card; division winners will win a $500 gift card, and all 200 runner ups win a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Finalists will be entered into the Grand Prize Round and five students will be selected in August 2022 as final winners. These students will win a $5,000 scholarship or grant to start their own business and special merchandise box from YELLOW.
For teachers: In June, Georgia Tech will reach out to any teacher with 10 or more student submissions. Teachers can submit an application for the Grand Prize. In August 2022, five teachers will be selected and awarded the grand prize for their work broadening access to computer science education. Winning teachers will receive a $1,000 cash prize.
If I'm a teacher, how does this fit into my classroom/curriculum?We encourage ALL teachers (computer science, music, business, history, math, science, reading, etc.) to bring this unique learning experience to your class. Building an equitable future for us all requires teaching students about racial injustice and equipping them with the mindset, knowledge, and skills they need to combat it. Similarly, access to the skills of the future is not guaranteed in today's educational system. By teaching students the basics of computer science, entrepreneurship, and music production, you will spark student interest in new career possibilities.
The provided curriculum is broken into 5-6 modules. Each module is written to take one class period (60 minutes) of instruction; however, teachers may move through the modules at their own pace. Each module comes with a scripted lesson plan, slide decks, digital student materials, exemplar code examples, and engaging videos! Review the materials to allot the time needed for your class to complete. All materials are aligned to the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards.
What is the recommended grade-level for participation?We currently recommend this challenge for students aged 13 and up. However, you may always try it with younger learners and see how they do with your help!
Can my students participate in both rounds?Yes! Students can submit as many times as they'd like and in any (or both) rounds. We will select 100 winners per round, and the top 10 finalists per round will move forward to be judged for grand prize. Students can enter into either round and with as many unique songs as they'd like.
Can students work in teams or must they submit individually?Students can submit songs in partner pairs or individually. During song submission, students will be asked to provide the name and email of their partner (if they have one).
If I'm a student, should I complete on my own or with my class?Up to you! You can certainly complete the challenge on your own now (head to EarSketch now to get started)! You can also share the opportunity with your classroom teacher to see if your entire class can participate.
Do I have to use the curriculum to participate?While strongly recommended, using the curriculum is entirely optional. The curriculum is provided to help teachers guide meaningful discussion and instruct students how to use EarSketch. Teachers may implement the curriculum however they see best for their classroom. Student winners will be judged based on their final song. Teacher winners will be selected based how they went "above and beyond" to bring this learning experience to their classroom.
What languages are available and what countries can participate?The competition and curriculum are currently available in English and Canadian French only. While anyone can utilize the curricular resources and EarSketch platform, students and teachers must live in the US or Canada to be eligible to win. Refer to rules and regulations for US and Canada for more details.
Both US and Canadian students should submit their song utilizing the final submission link inside the EarSketch platform.
What materials (hardware/software) are required?Students will need access to a web browser and internet to participate. EarSketch is a web based coding platform (no downloads necessary). EarSketch runs on chromebooks and any computer with a standard web browser.
All curriculum materials can be used digitally or can be printed out. No other equipment is required.
My class is fully virtual due to COVID-19. How will this impact my ability to deliver the curriculum?The curriculum was designed to be delivered virtually. In December 2020, twenty four teachers piloted the full experience virtually with great success. While virtual instruction can make discussion and individual support tricky, the provided materials make it possible to deliver a rich and exciting learning experience to your students even from afar.
Who can I contact for questions about the competition or for help with EarSketch?Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions regarding this competition or for help with EarSketch.
How do students submit their final songs?You can submit your song directly from the EarSketch website through clicking "Submit to Competition" in the script menu. You can also go to the competition submission site and paste your script/song URL to submit your song. Click this link to read more detailed instructions.
I can't attend any of the trainings but I need support. What other training options exist?All trainings will be recorded and shared for those that cannot attend live training. Please see the EarSketch Teacher Training site for more information.
Who created the Your Voice Is Power Curriculum and Competition?Your Voice Is Power Curriculum and Competition was designed by educational experts in computer science and social justice instruction.
CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT & PRODUCTION:
Sabrina Grossman, Program Director, CEISMC, Georgia Tech
Chalece DeLaCoudray, Innovator in Residence, CEISMC, Georgia Tech, chaleced.com
Joycelyn Wilson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Hip Hop Studies and DM, HipHop2020 Innovation Archive, Georgia Tech
Roxanne Moore, PhD, Senior Research Engineer, Georgia Tech
Stephanie Walters, YELLOW Foundation
Justin Funiliar, YELLOW Foundation
Mike Galliard, YELLOW Foundation
Krystal Hardy Allen, CEO, K. Allen Consulting
Jaritza Alecon, Associate Consultant, K. Allen Consulting
Tekquiree Spencer, Executive Producer, Spencers4Hire
Jermaine R. Spencer, Executive Producer, Spencers4Hire
Beatrice Dixon, Featured Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of the Honey Pot Company
Mike Larson, Sound Engineer and Music Producer
Kass Escalera, Design Education Diversity, Amazon
Ashley Glover, UX Designer, Amazon Fire TV
Jimin Kim, UX Visual Designer, Amazon
Matt Giuliari, UX Designer, Amazon Devices Design & Services Group ,
Rina King, UX Visual Designer, Amazon Devices Design & Services Group
Jason Freeman, Chair, School of Music, Georgia Tech
Luke Heerman, Application Developer Lead, School of Music, Georgia Tech
Love Park, Education Outreach Coordinator, CEISMC, Georgia Tech
What is YELLOW?Founded by recording artist, producer, songwriter, philanthropist, and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams, YELLOW is a 501(c)(3) non-profit working to EVEN THE ODDS for all youth through education. YELLOW has a focus on 5 key priorities: Abolish Remedial, Revolutionize Teaching, Inspire Entrepreneurship, Nourish Youth, and Enlist Communities. Through these priorities, YELLOW will transform education and teach for the future, creating a lens of possibility.
What is Amazon Future Engineer?Amazon Future Engineer is Amazon’s signature computer science program, designed to inspire, educate, and prepare children and young adults from underrepresented and underserved communities to pursue computer science. The program is part of Amazon’s $50 million investment in computer science and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.