Student Ethics Competition


The Region 3 Student Ethics Competition is held annually at SoutheastCon, and is sponsored by the IEEE Ethics and Member Conduct Committee. The competition was developed for use at IEEE Regional student events to encourage the study and awareness of professional ethics by IEEE Student Members (

The contest includes a presentation and defense of a case analysis by teams of two or three students. The 2020 Region 3 Student Ethics Competition will include a qualification round open to all Region 3 student branches, followed by the final round in which the top eight teams from the qualification round compete. Note the requirement that each team must provide a judge in the qualification round, as described below.

Questions may be submitted to


Friday – March 6th, 2020          Registration deadline

Friday – March 13th, 2020        Student Ethics Competition Qualification Round at SoutheastCon.
Teams are responsible for supplying their own laptops.

Saturday – March 14th, 2020   Student Ethics Competition Final Round at SoutheastCon.

Winners are announced during the Awards Ceremony

  • All participants (competitors and qualification round judges) must be registered for SoutheastCon 2020.
  • All participants (competitors and qualification round judges) must register for the Student Ethics Competition at:
  • All competitors must be student members or graduate student members of IEEE in Region 3 at the time of the competition.
  • Only one team is allowed per Region 3 student branch.

All student teams that have (1) registered for the competition by the deadline and (2) registered for the conference will compete in the qualification round. Teams shall consist of two or three students and will be provided a copy of the IEEE Code of Ethics for the competition ( Each team will complete a brief ethics scenario within a 45 minute timeframe and will submit a written statement of 500 words or less, which must be typed and submitted electronically. Teams will be sequestered. Each student team must provide a qualification round judge according to the regulations defined in section 3 below. Teams are to supply a laptop to compile their response and will be sequestered for the duration of the competition.


Each team shall provide one qualification round judge, who must be an IEEE member (of any grade), registered as a judge for the student ethics competition by the deadline, and registered for SoutheastCon 2020. Note that the qualification round judge may be a student, a branch counselor, a faculty member, a section member, etc. During the qualification round, the judges will receive training including the ethical issues in the given ethics scenario, and scoring recommendations regarding (1) ethical issue identification (2) ethical issue explanation (3) recommendations on resolution (4) explanation of issue resolution and (5) overall expression.

Each judge will score a subset of the total number of submitted statements, with no knowledge of school affiliation for the statements to be scored. Judges will not score the statement submitted by their student team. In the case of a three student team, it is allowable to use one student as the qualification round judge, with the two remaining students forming the qualification round team. Should such a team advance to the final round of the competition, all three students are allowed to compete.

Each statement submitted by teams in the qualification round will be scored by multiple judges. The top eight teams will advance to the final round. In the event of a tie, the tie will be broken by the Head Judge of the Student Ethics Competition. Advancing teams will be notified via the methods shared in the preliminary round.

The qualification round grading sheet is available at the end of this document.


In this round of competition, the advancing teams will be given a new scenario and expected to create and present their findings to a panel of professional IEEE members. The format and grading may be found at this link


A team will be disqualified from the competition if (1) the team qualification round judge is not present for training or scoring (2) any competitor is not an IEEE member (3) a student branch enters more than one team (all teams entered are disqualified) (4) a team uses electronic communication while sequestered (5) a sequestration area violation such as arriving late, leaving early, or allowing non-team members in the area or (6) any perceived unethical behavior. The Head Judge may solicit input from the Regional Student Activities Committee for any disqualification decision.

Appendix A – Qualification Round Grading Rubric

Revision History


Date Version POC Notes
01/06/2020 1.0 Victor Basantes

Release of official rules