Ontario gov’t challenges students to build digital tools for $30,000 top prize

student pathways challenge

Ontario has announced a six-week competition that hopes to encourage entrepreneurs and students to develop a digital solution for students.

The government is asking participants to build a digital tool to help high school students as they move from education to career. During the course of the challenge, the government will provide participants with data and support as they develop user-focused strategies.

Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister Responsible for Digital Government, Yvan Baker, revealed the Student Pathways Challenge at HackerYou in Toronto last night.

“Since becoming an MPP, I have been working hard to address youth unemployment and underemployment by advocating that we provide students with the information that they need to make an informed decision about which college or university program will allow them to achieve their learning and career goals,” said Baker. “The Student Pathways Challenge will allow people across Ontario to compete to create a digital tool to solve this important problem.”

In an effort to become more digitally connected, Ontario has started a few initiatives including Code for Canada, a not-for-profit organization that works to develop user-friendly digital services; a digital outpost at the Communitech Hub in Kitchener-Waterloo, Open Data Catalogue, which makes government data available to the public; and Ontario’s Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy, which provides residents with labour market information.

From the teams and individuals who submit their solutions by midnight on November 30, 2017, ten will be given the opportunity to present their designs to an expert panel. The panel will include Ontario’s Chief Digital Officer, Hillary Hartley, and will award cash prizes of $30,000, $13,000, and $7,000 to the top three designs.

“Ontario’s civic tech communities are a hotbed of creativity and talent that can help government deliver user-centred services. I can’t wait to see the diverse design ideas that emerge when we tap into this innovative ecosystem as part of the Student Pathways Challenge,” said Hartley.


Photo via Ontario.ca.


Aeman Ansari

Aeman Ansari is a freelance writer who has been published in many Toronto-based publications, including Hazlitt and Torontoist. When she’s not re-watching Hitchcock movies, she’s working on her collection of short fiction inspired by stories from her grandmother, one of the few women in India to receive post-secondary education in English literature at the time.

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