Your Voice is Power

Make beats. Learn code. Promote equity.

Pharrell Williams Your Voice is Power

Pharrell Williams, Georgia Tech, TakingITGlobal, and Amazon invite you to engage your students in an inspiring new learning experience that explores the ways music, computer science, and entrepreneurship can be tools to advance racial equity.

About

amazon future engineer
Yellow
Taking IT Global
Georgia Tech

Amazon, Georgia Tech, TakingITGlobal, and Pharrell Williams’ philanthropic organization, YELLOW, invite you to engage your students in the Your Voice Is Power learning experience and coding competition.

Students explore how computer science, music, and entrepreneurship can advance equity. Using Georgia Tech’s EarSketch platform, students code a 30 second – 3 minute musical remix using Pharrell’s new song “Entrepreneur“. Submitted remixes will be judged based on quality of music, code, and messaging by a panel of industry professionals.

Canadian students can compete with their class or on their own from February 1, 2021 to June 4, 2021. One student in Canada will win a $5,000 USD scholarship or grant to start a business, and one teacher in Canada will receive $1,000 CAD for above and beyond instruction.

Canada Competition Timeline

Opens: February 1, 2021
Closes: June 19, 2021
Winners Announced: Late July

Curriculum

Bring the full experience to your classroom with the lessons below. Each module is written to take 60 minutes to complete and includes all instructional materials.

Module 0
Optional: Intro to EarSketch
Students create an EarSketch account and gain a basic understanding of the coding platform
Module 1
Message in the Music
Students explore how to decode the message in the music and embed messages in their code with comments.
Module 2
Layers of Injustice
Students examine the “layers” of both racism and music and code their own song layers with variables.
Module 3
Set Your Own Tempo
Students hear stories of amazing entrepreneurs who “set their own tempo” before coding their own unique 16 measure song.
Module 4
Song Structure
Students discover the roles people can play in the fight for racial justice and code their own song structure with custom functions.
Module 5
Call to Action
Students finish coding their remix of Entrepreneur and use their “voice” to embed a unique message to advance racial equity.

Teacher Training

Expand your instructor skillset by attending any of our free training sessions.

New to EarSketch Teacher TrainingNew to EarSketch? Bring the excitement of teaching coding through music to your class in this all-in-one training session. We’ll cover the curriculum, the competition submission process, and the basics of EarSketch in a fun, two-hour session.
Curriculum OnlyAlready familiar with EarSketch? Join us for this one-hour power session that will leave you ready to teach the YVIP Curriculum. Learn to decode the message in music and how entrepreneurship, computer science, and music are pathways to equity.
Advanced EarSketchIf you’ve been teaching with EarSketch for more than a year and are ready to learn some advanced features, this workshop is for you! Join music technologist Chalece de la Coudray and take your EarSketch skills to the next level.
Racial Equity Discourse for EducatorsEager to deepen your ability to lead racial equity discussions in the classroom? Join this 90-minute session to develop the mindsets and skills necessary to facilitate diversity, equity, and inclusion discussions with middle and high school students.

Canada Awards List

All song submissions will be judged by employees of the sponsor organizations including Amazon and YELLOW professionals. Georgia Tech will select the winners. Students can submit as many times as they’d like. Canadian student prizes will be awarded in late June.

Students

Student typing on their computer

Grand Prize Winner: $5000 USD scholarship or grant to start a business

4 Finalists: $200 CAD Amazon gift Card

40 Semi-finalists: $25 CAD Amazon gift card

Teachers

Amazon employee helping two boys at a computer

One teacher will win a $1000 CAD cash prize for above and beyond instruction with Your Voice is Power.

Two of last year’s winners were first-time EarSketch users! Winners will be selected across all ranges of ability, age, and experience.

FAQ

We encourage ALL teachers (computer science, music, business, history, math, science, reading, etc.) to bring this unique learning experience to your class. Building an equitable future for us all requires teaching students about racial injustice and equipping them with the mindset, knowledge, and skills they need to combat it. Similarly, access to the skills of the future is not guaranteed in today’s educational system. By teaching students the basics of computer science, entrepreneurship, and music production, you will spark student interest in new career possibilities.

The provided curriculum is broken into 5-6 modules. Each module is written to take one class period (60 minutes) of instruction; however, teachers may move through the modules at their own pace. Each module comes with a scripted lesson plan, slide decks, digital student materials, exemplar code examples, and engaging videos! Review the materials to allot the time needed for your class to complete. All materials are aligned to the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards.

We currently recommend this challenge for students aged 13 and up. However, you may always try it with younger learners and see how they do with your help!

Students can submit songs in partner pairs or individually. During song submission, students will be asked to provide the name and email of their partner (if they have one).

Up to you! You can certainly complete the challenge on your own now (head to EarSketch now to get started)! You can also share the opportunity with your classroom teacher to see if your entire class can participate.

While strongly recommended, using the curriculum is entirely optional. The curriculum is provided to help teachers guide meaningful discussion and instruct students how to use EarSketch. Teachers may implement the curriculum however they see best for their classroom. Student winners will be judged based on their final song. Teacher winners will be selected based how they went “above and beyond” to bring this learning experience to their classroom.

The competition and curriculum are currently available in English and Canadian French only. While anyone can utilize the curricular resources and EarSketch platform, students and teachers must live in the US or Canada to be eligible to win. Refer to rules and regulations for US and Canada for more details.

Both US and Canadian students should submit their song utilizing the final submission link inside the EarSketch platform.

Students will need access to a web browser and internet to participate. EarSketch is a web based coding platform (no downloads necessary). EarSketch runs on chromebooks and any computer with a standard web browser.

All curriculum materials can be used digitally or can be printed out. No other equipment is required.

The curriculum was designed to be delivered virtually. In December 2020, twenty four teachers piloted the full experience virtually with great success. While virtual instruction can make discussion and individual support tricky, the provided materials make it possible to deliver a rich and exciting learning experience to your students even from afar.

Please email escomp@gatech.edu for any questions regarding this competition or for help with EarSketch.

You can submit your song directly from the EarSketch website through clicking “Submit to Competition” in the script menu. You can also go to the competition submission site and paste your script/song URL to submit your song. Click this link to read more detailed instructions.

All trainings will be recorded and shared for those that cannot attend live training. Please see the EarSketch Teacher Training site for more information.

Your Voice Is Power Curriculum and Competition was designed by educational experts in computer science and social justice instruction.

CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT & PRODUCTION:
Sabrina Grossman, Program Director, CEISMC, Georgia Tech
Chalece DeLaCoudray, Innovator in Residence, CEISMC, Georgia Tech, chaleced.com
Joycelyn Wilson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Hip Hop Studies and DM, HipHop2020 Innovation Archive, Georgia Tech
Roxanne Moore, PhD, Senior Research Engineer, Georgia Tech
Stephanie Walters, YELLOW Foundation
Justin Funiliar, YELLOW Foundation
Mike Galliard, YELLOW Foundation
Krystal Hardy Allen, CEO, K. Allen Consulting
Jaritza Alecon, Associate Consultant, K. Allen Consulting

VIDEOGRAPHY:
Tekquiree Spencer, Executive Producer, Spencers4Hire
Jermaine R. Spencer, Executive Producer, Spencers4Hire
Beatrice Dixon, Featured Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of the Honey Pot Company
Mike Larson, Sound Engineer and Music Producer

CREATIVE:
Kass Escalera, Design Education Diversity, Amazon
Ashley Glover, UX Designer, Amazon Fire TV
Jimin Kim, UX Visual Designer, Amazon
Matt Giuliari, UX Designer, Amazon Devices Design & Services Group ,
Rina King, UX Visual Designer, Amazon Devices Design & Services Group

TECHNICAL:
Jason Freeman, Chair, School of Music, Georgia Tech
Luke Heerman, Application Developer Lead, School of Music, Georgia Tech
Love Park, Education Outreach Coordinator, CEISMC, Georgia Tech

EarSketch is a free web-based platform to help students of all ages learn core topics in computer science, music, and music technology in a fun and engaging learning environment. EarSketch helps students learn to code in Python or JavaScript through manipulating loops, composing beats, remixing sounds, and applying effects to a multi-track digital audio workstation.

Founded by recording artist, producer, songwriter, philanthropist, and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams, YELLOW is a non-profit working to EVEN THE ODDS for all youth through education. YELLOW has a focus on 5 key priorities: Abolish Remedial, Revolutionize Teaching, Inspire Entrepreneurship, Nourish Youth, and Enlist Communities. Through these priorities, YELLOW will transform education and teach for the future, creating a lens of possibility.

Amazon Future Engineer is Amazon’s signature computer science program, designed to inspire, educate, and prepare children and young adults from underrepresented and underserved communities to pursue computer science. 

TakingITGlobal is one of the world’s leading networks of young people learning about, engaging with, and working towards tackling global challenges. Their mission is to empower youth to understand and act on local and global challenges.