MCIT Online attracts lifelong learners from all different industry backgrounds to learn the skills necessary to succeed in the technology sector. While undergoing this transformation, it is essential that students showcase their new technical skills and abilities to future employers in addition to rich transferable skills from past academic and professional experiences. Side projects act as a reliable measure for employers to assess your technical skills and abilities, organization/time management, enthusiasm, and creativity in this new field.
In an effort to encourage students to showcase their technical abilities to employers, MCIT Online is launching S.P.A.R.C (Side Projects for Advancement, Refinement and Collaboration), a summer-long competition designed to help MCIT Online students take their side projects to the next level. Participants will form teams of 2-4 current MCIT Online students to collaboratively create something utilizing their coding and programming skills. MCIT Online judges will review all project submissions at the end of the summer and choose 10 finalists to compete for the grand prize of $200 per person to be reimbursed toward a professional development opportunity.
Please respond to the prompt below and email your proposal to Emily Parry (email@example.com) by Sunday, April 4th, 11:59 PM EST. Proposals should not exceed 3 pages in length. We will be using a blind judging process to review proposals. Please do not include any team member names in the proposal document, but do list all team members’ names and emails in the body of your email to Emily.
Last year we asked students to pitch their project ideas to their peers to form teams and work on them over the summer. Below are three sample projects that were pitched:
Ten final teams have been chosen to move forward to compete for the grand prize in the SPARC Competition. Below are instructions for preparing the project for final judging:
Dr. Tom Farmer
Senior Lecturer for Computer and Information Science & Electrical and Systems Engineering
Lecturer for Computer and Information Science, Research & Education Director for Wharton Customer Analytics
Mohammed Javad Amiri
Postdoctoral research for the University of Pennsylvania Department of Computer and Information Science
The grand prize for the team that wins the SPARC Competition is $200 per person to be reimbursed toward a professional development opportunity.
MCIT Online will reimburse $200 to each individual from the winning team to be used for a professional development opportunity. Students can utilize prize money for any of the following conference registration fees or interview preparation support resources. Travel and other expenses incurred for conference participation are not eligible for reimbursement. The costs listed below are based on past registration fees. Be sure to check out the most up-to-date conference costs associated with each individual event when reviewing your registration options. If you have a conference you are interested in attending that is not on this list, feel free to forward the event details for MCIT Online approval to Emily Parry (firstname.lastname@example.org). Conference registration fees related to computer science topics will be considered for prize money redemption. Students must claim their prize money between August 13th, 2021 and October 1, 2022.
(Prices are subject to change based on the provider. Be sure to check with the individual source for the most up-to-date pricing)
By participating in this competition, at least one representative from each team must commit to presenting their final project at the S.P.A.R.C. Symposium on Friday, September 24th. Students who do not make it to the final round of the competition will be invited to prove the judges wrong, and if you have a project to showcase at the end of the summer, we would love to have you show it off at this event. You will be the host of a Zoom breakout room where you will review your project highlights to any MCIT Online student attendees interested in learning more about setting up and completing a side project.