DETROIT – Sixteen high school girls took home $2,775 in combined prizes in the Michigan Council of Women In Technology Foundation’s 11th annual girls website design competition.
Winners were identified on Dec. 3 during “finals day” at Blue Care Network’s auditorium in Southfield, the culmination of a three-month-long program.
During the event, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Financial Services and Blue Care Network, 24 finalists demonstrated their websites to a panel of IT executives who volunteered their time as judges, evaluating each presentation and the sites’ clarity, functionality, graphic appeal, user-friendly navigation and innovation.
The competition is one of MCWT’s initiatives aimed at encouraging women in Michigan’s IT community. This year, 146 teams, comprised of 179 young women from 32 Michigan high schools, enrolled in the contest’s two divisions; beginners and advanced. Contestants could enter individually or with one other team member. MCWT offered an optional free training session on topics such as usability, design and coding.
“This competition continues to get the attention of high school girls and draw support from both teachers and area businesses,” said Linda Mitchell, MCWT Foundation board member and judge for this year’s competition. “We’ve had 1,042 girls compete since we began this program, and the numbers continue to grow with each year.”
Since 2005, the MCWT website design competition has awarded more than $23,400 in cash prizes.
Eight girls won or received recognition in the advanced category:
- First place, $750 and a summer internship at Comerica Bank: Natalie Stepanenko, Lake Shore High School
- Second place, $500: Jada Baldwin and Hannah Watkins, Lake Shore High School
- Third place, $300: Shreya Mullapudi, Farmington High School
- Honorable mentions, $75:
- Zahra Makki and Fatima Bouhamdan, Dearborn Center for Math, Science and Technology
- Abby Morningstar, Salem High School
- Manisha Solipuram, Walled Lake Central High School
Eight girls won or received recognition in the beginner category:
- First place, $400: Cecilia DuPont and Mackenzi Steinmetz, Lake Shore High School
- Second place, $250: Megan Ritz, Lake Shore High School
- Third place, $200: Mackenzie Maison and Angela Maslanka, Lake Shore High School
- Honorable mentions, $50:
- Hayle Hayes, Lakeview High School
- Xiaolu Huang, Livonia Career Technical Center
- Fatima Rizvi, Dearborn Center for Math, Science and Technology
The winners’ websites can be viewed at http://www.mcwtwebdesign4girls.net/.