This IBM EdTech Youth Challenge will focus on issues that concern and involve young adults across the state of Michigan and how those issues could be solved, in part, with IBM technologies.
Teams of 2 to 6 young adults (ages 15 to 25) will have the opportunity to think about a problem relating to environmental sustainability, human trafficking, malnourishment, poverty, or suicide, and then design possible solutions to these issues through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity.

Young adults residing in the state of Michigan that form teams will be eligible to compete in the EdTech Youth Challenge, subject to the eligibility requirements listed in the competition rules and regulations .
Our Partners
We're proud to be partnering with The INDUSTRY for this competition. The INDUSTRY focuses on community development through empowering and training young people. This is accomplished with their 3 key focuses:

— Identity and personal development,
— Career exploration, or exposure to careers, &
— Integration into the careers that fit the individual's skills and personality.

Social issue areas

Environmental Sustainability

Projects that help humanity be more environmentally conscious and help reduce consumption and degradation of natural resources, and the effects climate change is having on our world and lives.

Human Trafficking

With Michigan’s close proximity to Canada and major transportation networks between Canada and the United States, human trafficking is a significant issue facing communities in the county.


A systemic issue stemming from homelessness and poverty, young adults are not immune to the effects of hunger and lack of regular access to food.


Approximately 14% of the residents of Michigan live in poverty. Many of these individuals are young adults that have limited access to opportunity and chances to better their lives.


Suicide is a growing problem in many communities across the nation, particularly among young adults.

Applying technologies to social issues


Artificial intelligence enables computers and machines to mimic the perception, learning, problem-solving, and decision-making capabilities of the human mind.

Learn more →


Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting the integrity of networks, systems, devices and data from cyber attacks.

Learn more →

We understand that AI and Cybersecurity are broad topics. If you are interested in honing your proposal to a more specific technology, you can learn about the following, in addition to the core competencies above.

Blockchain →

Chatbots →

Cloud / Hybrid Cloud →

Coding and Programming →

Internet of Things →

Predictive Analytics →

Competition overview

Competition launch & registration

Details of the competition will be announced, registration will open, and participants can gain access to online resources.


Project exploration, design, & build

Student teams will learn about AI, cybersecurity, and robotics, and apply their learning to a project.


Submission deadline

Teams submit their final projects for judging in the southeast Michigan Area EdTech Youth Challenge.



Eight (8) teams will be selected as semi-finalists. The semi-finalist teams will then attend a virtual one-day design session to build out their solution ideas with the help of experts from IBM, The INDUSTRY, and our partners. At the end of the design session, one (1) winning team will be announced.


Awards ceremony

An awards ceremony will be held following the announcement of the winning team.


The prize

The winning team will have a 2 week-long immersive experience with experts from IBM and our partners to implement their solutions.

  1. March 1, 2021Competition launch & registration
  2. March 1, 2021 - October 18, 2021Exploration, design, & building capstone projects begins
  3. July 30, 2021Formal registrations close
  4. August 9, 2021Initial virtual design session and checkpoint #1
  5. September 20, 2021Purpose virtual summit and checkpoint #2
  6. October 18, 2021Submission deadline
  7. October 25, 2021Semi-finalist teams announced
  8. November 1, 2021Virtual design workshop for semi-finalist teams, judging, and awards ceremony
  9. To be announcedImmersive experience with IBM and partner experts
Employee participation

Employees from IBM and our partners are eligible to participate in judging, providing technical advisory, design workshop facilitation, and other activities. Please use the link below to register your interest in helping with the Michigan EdTech Youth Challenge.

Register to assist in the Michigan competition →

Rules & regulations

Rules & regulations →