Help Spark Girls' Interest In STEM Careers: TopCoder Hosting $10,000 STEM-Themed Poster Contest

Press Release | TopCoder, Inc. | July 31, 2013

TopCoder, Google and the National Center for Women & Information Technology collaborate to encourage young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics

GLASTONBURY, Conn., July 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- TopCoder®, Inc., the world's largest open innovation platform and competitive community of digital creators, is seeking college-level and professional graphic designers to create posters that encourage 6th- through 12th-grade girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). With support from Google and the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), the winning design in TopCoder's 2013 Poster Design Contest will be awarded $5,000 and will be mass produced for display in schools, libraries and other education-centered organizations nationwide.

"There are many stereotypes and misconceptions facing young women today," said Jessie D'Amato Ford, TopCoder director of events and educational programs. "The goal of TopCoder's Poster Design Contest is to encourage and empower young women to participate in STEM-related activities in hopes that they will be the future of technical innovation."

Submissions are due by August 31, 2013, and up to 200 posters will be showcased and voted on during the 2013 TopCoder Open in November in Washington, D.C. Two runner-up posters will receive $2,500 each—the kids' choice winner voted on by Washington, D.C., school children and the designers' choice winner voted on by TopCoder Studio elite designers who will be in attendance and competing at the TopCoder Open. All three winners will also receive Google's Nexus 7 tablet.

Why target young women? According to NCWIT, the number of high schools offering AP computer science classes is down 35 percent since 2005, and women earn just 18 percent of all undergraduate computer and information sciences degrees.

"Attracting more girls to computing is a key way to broaden innovation," said Ruthe Farmer, director of strategic initiatives at NCWIT. "Projects like this help to support our mission."

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that by 2020 there will be more than 1.4 million computing-related job openings. At current rates, however, only 30 percent of those jobs can be filled with U.S. computing bachelor's graduates. Girls represent a valuable, mostly untapped talent pool. Additionally, The U.S. Bureau of Statistics reports that STEM related jobs are projected to grow by 21.4 percent over the next five years, versus a 10.4 percent growth rate in other fields.

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About TopCoder, Inc.
TopCoder is the world's largest Open Innovation Community of digital creators with nearly half a million members representing algorithmists, software developers and creative artists from over 200 countries. The TopCoder Open Innovation Community creates digital assets including analytics, software and creative designs and solutions for a wide-ranging client base through a competitive, rigorous, standards based methodology. Combined with our extremely talented community this groundbreaking methodology results in superior outcomes for our clients. For more information about sponsoring TopCoder events and utilizing TopCoder's software services and platforms, visit

Contact: Jessie D'Amato Ford
[email protected]