One week ago, inteGIRLS Inc. hosted the first ever online puzzle contest for middle and high school girls. The competition, which tested teams’ collaboration and problem solving, drew over 1500 solvers from 54 countries across six continents.
Teams spent three days attempting to solve 21 puzzles based on important contributions of women in STEM fields. By applying lateral thinking skills and their knowledge of various ciphers, the puzzle solvers found answers through patterns hidden within the included text and images to gain points.
inteGIRLS is an organization run by high school students that seeks to unite female and non-binary teenagers by way of STEM-focused challenges and competitions. Though the COVID-19 outbreak has isolated people in their homes, the puzzle contest has found a way to bring them together. “So many enthusiastic girls were introduced to puzzles and problem solving this weekend,” said rising high school junior and upcoming inteGIRLS Executive Director Julie Steele. “Watching them having fun, trying puzzles that challenge them, working with their team, and then later discussing their solutions with a community of girls from around the world was the most amazing thing for our team to see.”
inteGIRLS prides itself on being a community that empowers girls in STEM. When Hannah, a seventh grader from France, first heard about the competition, she worried that she wasn’t qualified enough, or that this wasn’t something for her. But after participating in the contest, she shared that she had one of the most fun weekends in her entire life. “It is incredible that you are encouraging girls like me to participate in STEM activities,” said Hannah.
The middle school division was won by girls from Maryland (USA) and South Korea, while a team from the United Kingdom topped a three-way tie to win the high school division.
A poll conducted by the organization found that this year’s event was the first ever puzzle hunt for 96% of participants. Through this year’s contest, inteGIRLS has introduced a brand new demographic to the world of puzzle solving.
InteGIRLS Inc. is a 501(c)(3) certified nonprofit based in the D.C. Metro area that seeks to foster an interest in STEM through creating a network of female and non-binary teens across the world. The organization was also recently selected to be a recipient of the prestigious Society for Science STEM Action Grant, one of the only teen-led organizations to do so.
|Joy Shi||inteGIRLS President|
|Sophia Weng||Head of Puzzle Writing & Leadership Team|
|Adam||Puzzle Writer & Digital Design (Updated our logo)!|
|Avani Ahuja||Leadership Team|
|Ivy Liang||Leadership Team|
|Julie Steele||Leadership Team|
|Laura Yao||Puzzle Writer & Leadership Team|
|Matthew Siff||Puzzle Writer & Systems Design|
|Mingjie Jiang||Director of Tech Operations|
|Pravi Putalapattu||Leadership Team|
|Rithik Sebastian||Puzzle Writer|
|Shrikar Vasisht||Puzzle Writer & Operations|
|Vishal Kanigcherla||Puzzle Writer & Operations|
|Zain Majumder||Puzzle Writer & Operations|