Pharrell Returns With Contest To Propel The Next Generation Of Coders With Amazon And Georgia Tech
Photo Credit: Kevin Winter
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Pharrell Returns With Contest To Propel The Next Generation Of Coders With Amazon And Georgia Tech

Pharrell is back with his latest competition to help teach the next generation of coders.

Earlier this year, AfroTech reported that the legendary producer and his education equity nonprofit YELLOW partnered with Amazon and Georgia Institute of Technology for “Your Voice is Power” — an educational coding program for K-12 students.

Now, Amazon, Pharrell and Georgia Tech have launched the “Your Voice is Power” 2022 music remix competition, according to an Amazon blog post.

Coming in on its second year, the competition is continuing to teach underserved youth about coding and racial equity.

“Working with Amazon Future Engineer and Earsketch for ‘Your Voice Is Power’ 2022 helps us to continue to EVEN THE ODDS within education, especially when it comes to racial equity,” said Pharrell. “It’s amazing to see the students completely immerse themselves in the curriculum, and to watch their coding sequences come to life. The cross-collaboration that happens when students share ideas and exchange creative processes really shapes their experience. Participating in this competition is the true meaning of accomplishing more together.”

The Competition

Students will use EarSketch, Georgia Tech’s learn-to-code-through-music platform, to remix beats and create their own magic. The song selection features Pharrell’s “Entrepreneur,” Alicia Keys’ “Underdog” and Khalid’s “New Normal.”

To further prepare the young competitors, the initiative includes five modules with lesson plans to not only teach coding but also serve as a conversation starter about the importance of equity and social justice.

“We’re honored to continue our collaboration with Georgia Tech and Pharrell to help students explore learning experiences that highlight how music, computer science, and entrepreneurship can advance social justice and equity,” said Victor Reinoso, global director, Amazon Future Engineer. “Our work, alongside Amazon Music, has enlisted inspirational artists to help students from historically underrepresented communities build life-changing skills to propel their futures.”

The Requirements For Submission

While no experience is necessary to enter, students’ submissions must meet the following requirements:

  • Length of 30 seconds to 3 minutes
  • Include five distinct tracks
  • One audio clip from Pharrell Williams’s “Entrepreneur” song
  • Runs in the EarSketch DAW without error(s)
  • Code includes one custom function to define song sections (for MS/HS students only)

Students across the U.S. can submit with their class or individually from Dec. 1, 2021 to Jun. 19, 2022.

The Grand Prize Awards

Five students will win a $5,000 scholarship or grant to start a business, and five teachers will receive $1,000 for above and beyond instruction with “Your Voice is Power.” All teachers with ten or more student submissions will be eligible and contacted to apply.

To learn more about the “Your Voice is Power” 2022 music remix competition, click here.