Girls Hack Ireland, 2015.
Girls Hack Ireland, 2015.

(WOMENSENEWS)—Educators and funders are highlighting the need to include female students in programs for science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. It’s part of a push to expand career opportunities for women, who as of 2011 represent only 24 percent of the STEM workforce. But many of the non-school based computer science competitions, called hackathons, are gender neutral. Here is a list of upcoming hackathons that all girls should know about; whether you are clueless at coding or a pro at programming.

Jan. 9

Girls Make Your Own Mobile App Day
Falcon Heights, Minn.
In this event, girls ages 12-19, both experienced and new to the world of coding, will be creating their own mobile Android apps with the help of mentors and free software called AppInventor.

Jan. 22-24

U of T Hacks
Free (Plus partial travel coverage)
Held annually at the University of Toronto, this hackathon gives high school and college students 36 hours, experienced mentors and advanced equipment to create, whether they are new or experienced in the world of hacking.

Feb. 19-20

Women in Stem
Dubai, UAE
This all-female hackathon introduces women into the world of STEM in a nonthreatening, helpful environment in which participants can convert their ideas into businesses and companies, exposing them to a wide range of STEM careers, with the help of experienced mentors.

March 12

Price: $50-$100
This “code-free” hackathon is for non-coders who would like to pitch their ideas to investors and developers who will help make dreams into reality, showing them that they can make “something out of nothing.”


Women’s Hackathon
San Marcos, Calif.
In this 12-hour, female-only hackathon, high school- and college-aged participants will be working together in teams of six or fewer to design websites, apps and games that address current, real-world problems. Projects will be judged by such criteria as user experience, originality and technical difficulty.

Aug. 25-27

The Cortex Hub
East London, South Africa
This hackathon invites high school teens, college students and entry-level professionals to work together to develop solutions around the theme of #YouthEmpowerment. The goal is to align the work with the country’s National Youth Policy 2020 that states: “Young people are a major human resource for development, often acting as key agents for social change, economic expansion and innovation. Their imagination, ideals, energy and vision are essential for the continuous development of society.”

Oct. 15-23

Code Week EU
Fee varies
Code Week EU encompasses many hackathons for different age groups throughout Europe, all with the aim of boosting coding and digital literacy at the grassroots.

This story is part of Teen Voices at Women’s eNews. In 2013 Women’s eNews retained the 25-year-old magazine Teen Voices to continue and further its mission to improve the world for female teens through media. Teen Voices at Women’s eNews provides online stories and commentary about issues directly affecting female teens around the world, serving as an outlet for young women to share their experiences and views.

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