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What are the eligibility requirements for participation in the contest?

  • Participants must be currently registered/enrolled in a school in a participating state or program (“Eligible Group”), and must meet the eligibility requirements for that Eligible Group. Please select
    your state or program from the list on the right to see the full eligibility requirements.*
  • Participants must be between the ages of 13 and 19 years of age.
  • Participants must compete in teams of 2-4 students. Entries from individuals will not be eligible.
  • Participants under the age of 18 should ask for their parents’ permission before entering.

What is the Microsoft bliink Web design competition?

Bliink is a Web design contest (“Contest”) for students that encourages them to dream big and to express their ideas while building their technology skills. Student participants will design and develop a Web site using Microsoft® Expression® suite of software tools.

Students’ Web sites will be judged on a variety of design and communication criteria and winners will receive prizes. Expression software will be provided at no charge to participants’ schools via a subscription to MSDN AA. To request the Expression software for your school, please email ew4hs@innovativeteachers.us . By using the teaching and learning materials that a team of educators developed, students will be able to design creative, modern Web sites in a relatively short amount of time.

What is the theme?

The competition theme may vary by Eligible Group. To see the specific theme, please select your contest from the list on the right.

What are the dates of the competition?

Competition dates may vary by Eligible Group. To see the specific entry period, deadlines and winner selection dates, please select your contest from the list on the right.

How do you create and submit a Web site?

Your school can request a free subscription to Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance (MSDN AA) which includes the Expression software. To request the Expression software for your school, please e-mailew4hs@innovativeteachers.us .

The Expression suite of software includes the same graphic design and Web design tools that are currently used by professional Web designers. Students will be allowed to install this software onto their home computers at no charge.

After a teacher or administrator registers their high school, students can download additional Microsoft designer and developer tools from http://www.dreamspark.com at no cost.

In addition, Microsoft has created tutorials and learning materials that allow any beginner to create a potentially winning site. These materials are available for no charge at:http://www.bliinkcontest.com/learn.aspx

Students must form a team of at least 2 people, but no more than 4 people per team. The same person cannot be on multiple teams. Each team member must register individually online at http://www.bliinkcontest.com by the registration deadline listed for their Eligible Group’s Contest. Prior to registering, students should form a team, choose a team name, and identify a team captain. The team captain will be responsible for any communication with the contest organizers, and for uploading (submitting) the team’s entry.

No additional team members can be added after the Contest registration deadline has passed.

If a team member withdraws from the competition before an entry is submitted, then the Team Captain must notify the sponsoring teacher at their school. The sponsoring teacher must notify the organizers via e-mail. Only participating and registered team members will be eligible for prizes.

Once registered, each team must use Expression suite of software to create a Web site that best illustrates the theme listed for their specific contest. To submit an entry for judging, the team captain must go tohttp://www.bliinkcontest.com and click on the submit link. The captain must enter their teammate’s names and upload a .ZIP file of their entire Web site by the entry deadline listed for their Eligible Group’s Contest.

What type of content can appear on a Web site? Participants must use Expression software to create their Web sites.Participants may not use software outside of Expression Studio to create their Web sites. Participants may include 3rd party content on their Web site, but they must not violate any copyright or intellectual property laws. Teams will lose points for any content included on their Web site that violates copyright law or is inappropriately cited.

You must have obtained any and all consents, approvals or licenses required (for content on your Web site) before you submit your entry; and your entry must not otherwise violate the rights of any other person or company by using their trademarks, music, logos, names or images without their consent.

What is the judging criteria?

Web sites will be evaluated on the following criteria by a panel of judges: Creativity/Original Ideas (25%), Communication (20%), Organization/Navigation (20%), and Visual Presentation/Design (35%).

Points will be taken away for non-functioning aspects and copyright violations.

What are the prizes?

The prizes may vary by Eligible Group. To see the specific prizes awarded, select your contest from the list on the right.

How will winners be announced?

Winners will be notified by e-mail by the date listed for each contest. To see the specific dates,
select your contest from the list on the right. The e-mail will be sent to student winners in care of
their sponsoring teacher or program leader.

If you are not 18 years or older, please be sure your parent / legal guardian reads and agrees to all the rules, especially the following requirements.

Additional entry requirements?

  • Your entry must be you / your teammates’ own original work and
  • Your entry cannot have been selected as a winner in any other contest; and
  • You, or your parent / legal guardian, are solely responsible for any local or federal taxes on the prize.

Other than what is set forth below, we are not claiming any ownership rights to your entry. However, by submitting your entry, you (or, if you are a minor, your parent or legal guardian):

  • are granting us an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide right and license to: (i) use, review, assess, test and otherwise analyze your entry and all its content in connection with this Contest; and (ii) feature your entry and all into content in connection with the promotion of this Contest in all media (now known or later developed);
  • understand and acknowledge that Microsoft may have developed or commissioned materials similar or identical to your entry and you waive any claims you may have resulting from any similarities to your entry;
  • understand that we cannot control the incoming information you will disclose to our representatives in the course of entering, or what our representatives will remember about your entry. You also understand that we will not restrict work assignments of representatives who have had access to your entry. By entering this Contest, you agree that use of information in our representatives’ unaided memories in the development or deployment of our products or services does not create liability for us under this agreement or copyright or trade secret law;
  • understand that you will not receive any compensation or credit for use of your entry, other than what is described in these Official Rules

Please note that following the end of this Contest your entry may be posted on a Web site selected by us for viewing by visitors to that Web site. We are not responsible for any unauthorized use of your entry by visitors to this Web site. While we reserve these rights, we are not obligated to use your entry for any purpose, even if it has been selected as a winning entry.

If you (or, if you are a minor, your parent or legal guardian) do not want to grant us these rights to your entry, please do not enter this Contest.

What if something unexpected happens and the contest can’t run as planned?

If cheating, a virus, bug, catastrophic event, or any other unforeseen or unexpected event that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled, (also referred to as force majeure) affects the fairness and / or integrity of this Contest, Microsoft reserve the right to cancel, change or suspend this Contest. This right is reserved whether the event is due to human or technical error. If a solution cannot be found to restore the integrity of the Contest, we reserve the right to select winners from among all eligible entries received before we had to cancel, change or suspend the Contest.

If you attempt to compromise the integrity or the legitimate operation of this Contest by hacking or by cheating or committing fraud in ANY way, we may seek damages from you, or your parent / legal guardian, and we may ban you from participating in any of our future Microsoft Contest, so please play fairly.