Y-Prize: Problem Mastery

What is Y-Prize: Problem Mastery?

Y-Prize Problem Mastery is a competition that allows students to explore the implications of a current social issue and compete with other students across campus. Mastering global challenges starts with understanding a problem and its wider context rather than jumping straight into a business plan or quick fix. Student teams research a social problem and learn to present issues in a way people can understand, share, and learn from. Teams can be comprised of one to five students and it is required that at least one member of the team is a BYU student.

More information about Y-Prize: Problem Mastery can be found on the slides here

There is $6,000 in total prize money awarded to winning teams. First place receives $3,000, second $2,000, and third $1,000. 

  • 4 October 2018: Information Session in 710 TNRB at 6:30 p.m.
  • 24 October 2018: Information Session in W408 TNRB at 5:30 p.m.
  • 14 November 2018: Deep Dive Workshop in 710 TNRB
  • 18 January 2019: Registration
  • February/March: Coaching and Mentoring
  • 27 March 2019: Final Submission
  • 5 April 2019: Judging

Presentations are judged on the following four categories:

  1. Understanding of the problem landscape:  (a) Does the presentation address the causes and consequences of the problem? (b) Does the presentation clearly demonstrate an understanding of all key stakeholders affected by the problem? (c) Does the presentation outline why and when the problem started occurring and why it persists?
  2. Understanding of the solutions landscape: (a) Does the presentation demonstrate a deep understanding of the existing solutions, including what has worked well and what hasn’t? (b) Does the presentation explore some of the models for change being tried and what distinguishes the approaches?
  3. Identification of gaps and levers of change: (a) Does the presentation clearly outline key levers of change that could contribute to the solutions landscape? (b) Does the presentation identify multiple different efforts (e.g. government, non-profits, etc.) that might contribute? (c) Do the gaps demonstrate an understanding of what it would take to positively contribute to solving this problem?
  4. Research approach and presentation of deliverables: (a) Does the presentation demonstrate a diverse range of research sources (i.e. not only just desktop research but primary research too). (b) Does the visual map adequately reflect the necessary level of detail in a creative and insightful way? (c) Does the team present the social issue in a way people can understand, share, and learn from?

There are several approaches to creating a Y-Prize: Problem Mastery team. Here are a few:

  • Compete solo.
  • Although competing alone is allowed, some things can be more fun to do with friends. Create memories of a lifetime by reaching out to friends, family, and/or classmates to join your team. 
  • Another option is to connect with other BYU students who have indicated that they are interested in participating in the competition. Share your contact information or reach out to other students on this Google spreadsheet

In order to participate, please register by 18 January 2019.


For competition suggestions, questions, and resources, please email problemmastery@byu.edu.