The Alice Challenge invites middle and high school students in the Pittsburgh region to create 3D animations, engaging games, or immersive experiences using the Alice programming environment. Alice helps students develop technical skills and encourages them to explore their creativity, all while making something meaningful. Entries will be judged by real game designers and industry experts.

Challenge Categories

To enter the competition, students can use Alice 2 or Alice 3 to create projects for one of the competition categories:

  • Animation: Animations can be linear or interactive narratives that tell a story or build an environment.
  • Games: Games can be of any genre such as a driving game, quiz game, or whatever you can make. All games must have a goal for player interaction.
  • Good Neighbor: Inspired by the legacy of Fred Rogers, this category is about creating experiences for social good. Entries can be animations, games, or whatever you can imagine.
Educator Workshops

Do you want to bring the Alice Challenge to your classroom or learning space? Teachers and out-of-school educators are encouraged to sign up for free training workshops to learn how to use Alice with your students and support their participation in the competition:

Each workshop runs from 8:30am to 3:30pm and will give you all the skills and knowledge you need to bring Alice back to your students and get them started on the Alice Challenge. Workshops are provided at no cost, and Act 48 credit is available.

If you are unable to attend a scheduled training our would like to plan a separate training for your colleagues or staff, please contact us and we’ll find a way to get you trained.

Eligibility & Rules
  • The Alice Challenge is open to all students in grades 6 – 12 in Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland counties.
  • Both in-school and out-of-school programs may participate in the Alice Challenge.
  • Students under 18 must have their parent or legal guardian’s permission to participate in the Challenge.
  • All participating students must be sponsored by an adult. Sponsors may be teachers, administrators, librarians, home-school educators, out-of-School educators, after-school educators, mentors, coaches, or parents.
  • Students may participate as an individual, or in a team of up to four individuals. Each member of the team must satisfy the eligibility requirements. Each team must designate a “Team Leader” to serve as representative for all Challenge-related communications.
  • Applicants may submit one entry per category (for a maximum of three submissions) to the Alice Challenge, either as an individual or team applicant. Each entry must be a separate project and one entry can not be submitted to multiple categories.
Challenge Criteria

Student submissions will be judged in two divisions, a Middle Division for students in grades 6, 7, and 8 and an Upper Division for students in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12.

Animation Criteria

Animations can be linear or interactive narratives that tell a story or build an environment. Entries to the animation category will be judged on:

  • Creativity: How unique is the story that is being told or the approach of the presentation?
  • Visual Presentation: How immersive is the world that has been created? How complex or impactful is the flow of the visual representation, camera movements, and general composition?
  • Technical Implementation: How complex is the technical implementation? Does the entry make use of programming concepts to simplify or structure the project? Is the code commented making it easy to understand? Does the entry make use of audio or other features?

Game Criteria

Games can be of any genre such as a driving game, quiz game, or whatever you can make. All games must have a goal for player interaction. Entries to the games category will be judged on:

  • Creativity: How unique is the game theme or mechanics?
  • Visual Presentation: How immersive is the world that is created? How aligned is the visual presentation with the theme and game mechanics?
  • Technical Implementation: How complex is the technical implementation? Does the entry make use of programming concepts to simplify or structure their project? Is the code commented making it easy to understand? Does the entry make use of audio or other features?

Good Neighbor Criteria

Inspired by the legacy of Fred Rogers, this category is about creating experiences for social good. Entries can be animations, games, or whatever you can imagine. Entries to the Good Neighbor category will be judged on:

  • Creativity: How unique is the approach to addressing the social issue?
  • Visual Presentation: How immersive is the world that is created? How aligned is the visual presentation with approach to addressing the social issue?
  • Technical Implementation: How complex is the technical implementation? Does the entry make use of programming concepts to simplify or structure their project? Is the code commented making it easy to understand? Does the project make use of audio or other features?
  • Impact Potential: How well articulated is the approach to the issue and how much potential is there for the entry to achieve its goals?

Finalists in all divisions and criteria will be reviewed by a panel of industry experts to determine the final challenge winners.

What is Alice?

Alice is a free block-based programming environment that makes it easy to create animations, build interactive narratives, or program simple games in 3D.

What is the Alice Challenge?

The Alice Challenge invites middle and high school students in the Pittsburgh region to create 3D animations, engaging games, or immersive experiences using the Alice programming environment.

Who can participate?

The Alice Challenge is open to all students in grades 6-12 in Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. Both in-school and out-of-school programs may participate in the Alice Challenge. Students under 18 must have their parent or legal guardian’s permission to participate in the Challenge and all participating students must be sponsored by an adult.

What if I live outside of the geographic boundaries of the competition?

We are limiting entries to the Pittsburgh and surrounding area so that we can best support the teachers and students participating in this inaugural challenge. We hope that in the future we can take what we learn from this challenge and provide support for broader participation. We are happy to support efforts to host their own version of the Alice Challenge in their school or area. Contact us and let’s talk about it!

Who can sponsor a team?

Teachers, administrators, librarians, home-school educators, out-of-School educators, afterschool educators, mentors, coaches, and parents.

Not represented here? Please contact us.

How can I learn to use Alice with my students?

The Alice Project is hosting free training sessions for teachers and out-of-school educators from November 2017 through January 2018. Learn more and sign up for a training session at thealiceproject.eventbrite.com. (Act 48 continuing education credits available!)

If you are unable to attend a scheduled training our would like to plan a separate training for your colleagues or staff, please contact us and we’ll find a way to get you trained.

How much does it cost?

It’s free! Free training is available to all participating educators. The Alice software is available to download for free. The student workshop event is free and open to the public. There is no entry fee to submitting to the competition.

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