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Open P-TECH has changed its name to SkillsBuild for Students and Educators.

Jump start your students’ career exploration with IBM this summer!

What’s the opportunity?

The IBM Summer Skills Build Challenge introduces middle, high school, and new college students to emerging technologies and professional skills through our digital learning platform. Learners will have six weekly challenges available to them – all of which result in cool prizes for the winners! If students complete at least 4 out of the 6 challenges they will earn a certificate of completion from IBM that they can use to enhance their resume and show off the new skills they have learned!

Who’s eligible to participate?

Any teacher or educational organization running a summer program that is new to IBM and serving students ages 13-20:

For Educators

Whether you’re leading a summer enrichment program, or are a passionate educator that wants to set up your students with something fun and meaningful to do for the summer (while you’re enjoying some well-earned R&R somewhere), the Summer Challenge is a perfect fit! Our team is ready to support your students, all you need to do is sign them up!

For Organizations

Are you running a summer program for youth? Looking for ways to incorporate STEM and career exploration? The IBM Summer Skills Build Challenge is ready made for you!

Also: The Summer Challenge is totally FREE!

Interested? Fill out this interest form to get started!

A member of the IBM team will reach out about how to register your students within 48 hours.


What are the key dates?

Organizations and schools must have their students registered by June 15th at 11:59 pm EST to be eligible for prizes.

A virtual launch event for all participants will be held on June 16th at 5pm EST. The weekly challenges run from June 16th – July 30th.

A culminating awards webinar will take place on August 4th to recognize those who completed the most learning hours over the summer. All students who have completed at least 4/6 challenges will receive a certificate of completion from IBM.

Hear from teachers who have been using Open P-TECH

More details

  • Tasks start small and easy to welcome students into the platform. For example, the first week’s challenge is simply to log-in, create a profile, and complete one hour of learning
  • As the weeks progress, students are introduced to slightly more in-depth content through the challenges. For example, from weeks 3-5, they are pushed to earn a technical skill badge that can be earned in about 7-8 hours.
  • Throughout the challenge, students will be asked to reflect on their key takeaways and connect with peers through P-TECH Connect, our moderated forum on Open P-TECH.
  • Some of the prizes that will be awarded to those who finish each weekly challenge first include: water bottles, blue light glasses, t-shirts, and notebooks. The top 5 learners who complete the most learning hours over the summer will earn a grand prize. Certificates will be given out to students who complete at least 4/6 challenges.


  • Every week, the number of students who will win a prize will vary from 100-500 users, and winners will be determined by which students finish the challenge of the week first.
  • Prizes will be sent to the school or organization at the end of the summer (sometime in August), and your school or organization will be responsible for distribution to students.
  • To get started, all we need is for you to fill out the intake form above. We’ll then send you confirmation of your registration into the challenge and additional instructions to get your students registered for the platform.
  • Students will have a lot of choice to determine what activities and content they want to work through, ranging from professional skill courses to more technical skills that teach them concepts like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cybersecurity, and more. If you aren’t sure where to start or how to guide your students, fear not! We have a whole Teacher Toolkit designed to help educators get started, and an implementation guide to guide students to some of our most popular topics.
  • We’ve built this challenge to be as hands on or as hands off as you want to be. If you’re running a full-time summer program, this will be a great addition or medium for that work. If you’re a teacher that is logging off for the summer but think your students will enjoy the challenge, you can get them signed up and let us lead from there.
  • Of course! We are also happy to help you think through other ways you could use the platform to build out your summer programming. If you’d like more customized support, contact us at
  • Nope! The Summer Skill Up Challenge and Open P-TECH platform are all entirely free – from the access, to the learning, to the badge credentials, to the prizes.
  • Students who complete challenges each week are indeed eligible to win multiple prizes. However, to ensure equal opportunity across the participant base, students who win one week will not be eligible to win the following week. So, in total, participants will have the chance to earn up to 3 weekly challenge prizes and the grand prize if they have the top 5 most hours earned on the platform.