2024 "Your Voice is Power" competition launches today, celebrating hip-hop's 50th anniversary

Feb. 6, 2024 | Atlanta, Georgia

Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), in partnership with Amazon Future Engineer, is launching the 2024 “Your Voice is Power” (YVIP) EarSketch Coding Competition today. The competition celebrates the 50th anniversary of hip-hop and invites K-12 students to create original music using computer science principles via the online code editor, EarSketch.

Your Voice is Power 2024 competition runs from Feb. 6 to June 21. The competition aims to inspire students to pursue computer science, entrepreneurship, and social justice through music and creative discovery. More than 3,500 pre-collegiate students have participated in past competitions, learning to code in JavaScript or Python while remixing music from the EarSketch library that includes samples from artists such as Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys, Ciara, and Khalid.

“Hip-hop is more than just music. It is a culture, a movement, and a way of expressing oneself and addressing social issues,” said CEISMC Program Director Sabrina Grossman, who serves as one of the competition organizers. “We wanted to commemorate hip-hop’s influence on music and culture by highlighting the genre’s impact and relevance to today’s youth. YVIP’s theme connects how music and computer science can be tools for advocacy.”

EarSketch is an innovative educational platform that has been used by students in all 50 U.S. states and in more than 100 countries since its launch in 2011. Developed by Tech’s School of Music Chair Jason Freeman and Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts Professor Brian Magerko, EarSketch reached its one million user milestone in September 2022.

YVIP is a multidisciplinary initiative that includes a related project-based curriculum consisting of five to six modular lesson plans and other supplemental material for middle school and high school students. The goal of this educational initiative is to encourage more K-12 students from diverse populations to enter the world of computer science.

The competition will run from February 6 to June 21, 2024. Students can submit their songs online at https://teachers.earsketch.org/compete. A panel of industry experts and educators will judge the entries based on the quality of music, code, and social justice message. The winners will receive prizes such as Amazon gift cards, JBL headphones, music technology tours of Georgia Tech and recognition on the EarSketch website.

--Joëlle Walls, CEISMC Communications