Attending Apple’s developer conference costs a whopping $1,599 but a fortunate few can win a WWDC scholarship by building a creative Swift playground. Apple began taking submissions today, and 350 winners will be announced in April.
Swift is a programming language for iOS software. Swift Playgrounds is a graphical tool designed to teach coding to kids. With it, students create “playgrounds” by piecing together lines of code. Each change they make is immediately reflected in the playground. It teaches all the basics of coding, like loops, variables, and parameters.
How to get a WWDC scholarship
These World Wide Developer Conference scholarships are intended for students. Entrants must be 13 years of age or older, and enrolled part- or full-time in an accredited course of study. Or they can be a member of a STEM organization that promotes learning outside of the classroom.
The submission must be a Swift playground created solely by the student, as group work isn’t permitted. Work needs to be done with Swift Playgrounds on iPad or Xcode on macOS.
Students can base their work on a template and use open source software. They just need to explain why they did so on the submission form. In fact, all entries must include a description of the features and technologies used in the Swift playground, in 500 words or less. A second optional 500-word essay can be submitted to explain “how you’ve considered sharing your coding knowledge and enthusiasm for computer science with others.”
Apple says the WWDC scholarships will be awarded based on technical accomplishment, creativity of ideas, and the content of written responses.
On top of free admission to its developer conference, the prize includes lodging and one year of membership in the Apple Developer Program. In addition, Apple is willing to pay other travel expenses for scholarship winners who can’t afford the trip. A request for this additional money must be included with the submission.
All the details on submitting a Swift Playground and the necessary forms can be found on Apple’s website.
Anyone interested should get stated immediately, as the deadline for submissions is Sunday, April 1 at 5:00 p.m. PDT. All applicants will be notified of their status on Friday, April 20.