ic2

Student Challenge

Next student challenge is an interscholastic event—March Economic Madness.

Following the success of two previous IC² Student Challenge events, the IC² Student Challenge is growing.  For the spring of 2021, the Challenge will consist of two rounds, with the second round involving competitors from at least one other university.

Once again Challenge participants will address problems related to the need for small or remote communities to grow and thrive, while maintaining unique community identities and good quality of life for their citizens.

Team Criteria

Any currently enrolled student at UT Austin is eligible to join a team.  However, each team must include representation from at least two colleges/schools.  Additionally, no team may include more than two graduate students or more than two first-year undergraduate students.  Teams must have 4 or 5 members.  No changes in team membership may occur after the teams have registered and been confirmed on February 3.

IC² will maintain a list of UT Austin students looking for teammates and will share the list (weekly, via email) with interested students.

Awards

The top three teams from UT Austin will be designated as finalists and qualified to compete in the final round.  Each of the three UT Austin finalist teams will be awarded $1,000. The one team selected as winner of the final interscholastic round will be awarded $25,000.  The winning team will also “bring home” the March Economic Madness trophy to the team’s university to be displayed for one year.

Communities for Study

Registered teams will be randomly assigned to communities.  Each team will study a different community.  Communities will be Texas cities, outside of major urban corridors, with populations numbering between 15,000 and 90,000.  Although Round 2 will involve a different question from Round 1, teams who qualify for Round 2 will continue to study the community to which they were originally assigned.

Timeline

December 14:  Forms for the team application and for help matching to teammates will be available online.

February 1, 4pm:  Team applications due. 

February 3:  Team registrations confirmed; teams notified of community assignments via March Economic Madness website

February 3-26:  Participants are allowed and encouraged to research their communities as thoroughly as possible.  Students are encouraged to use primary sources (e.g. interviews or surveys engaging community residents and leaders) as well as secondary sources for research.

February 26, 4pm:  Round 1 prompt revealed at March Economic Madness website.

February 26-March 6:  Participants prepare responses and document responses in PowerPoint files with notes, according to a prescribed 12-slide format.  Participants are prohibited during this time from contacting their communities or from consulting with any individuals outside their team.  Participants may continue to use secondary sources for research.

For each round, the student team presentations should be deliverable in 10 minutes or less.  The number of slides will be limited to 12.  Officials from each of the participating universities will agree on the required topics to be covered in the slides (e.g. timeline, finances, etc.) as appropriate to the particular prompt chosen.

March 3, 4pm:  Electronic PowerPoint files from all UT Austin teams are due to IC².

March 4:  Top 10 UT Austin teams—qualified to present on March 6—are announced by IC².

March 5:  Zoom connection/practice checks for UT Austin top 10 teams.

March 6:  Round 1 at each university: live online team presentations for qualified teams.   Each presentation is 10 minutes or less in duration.  Ten minutes are allowed for Q&A with the judging panel at the end of each presentation.  The top three teams at each university are selected for the interscholastic Round 2. These three teams will continue to study the same community assigned to them on February 3.

March 7-22:  Teams qualified for Round 2 are again allowed and encouraged to research their communities as thoroughly as possible.  Students are encouraged to use primary sources as well as secondary sources for research.

March 22, 4pm:  Round 2 prompt revealed at March Economic Madness website. Participants prepare responses and document responses in PowerPoint files with notes, according to a prescribed 12-slide format.  Participants are prohibited during this time from contacting their communities or from consulting with any individuals outside their team.  Participants may continue to use secondary sources for research.

March 27, 8 AM: Team PowerPoint files to be submitted via email.

March 27, noon:  Round 2 held via Zoom: live online team presentations before an external judging panel.  Each presentation is 10 minutes or less in duration.  Ten minutes are allowed for Q&A with the judging panel at the end of each presentation.  The judging panel selects the winning team, and final announcements are made online.

Links to team application and form to express interest in finding teammates