News / USA

    Students Bring Innovation to Global Technology Competition

    Microsoft Chairman Steve Balmer speaking at the ninth annual Imagine Cup in New York
    Microsoft Chairman Steve Balmer speaking at the ninth annual Imagine Cup in New York

    Multimedia

    Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems.  That is the challenge posed for innovative young people participating in the ninth annual Imagine Cup in New York.  The event, which runs through Wednesday, is billed as the world’s premier student technology competition, is hosted by the Microsoft Corporation.

    Math student David Hayden is legally blind.  He can see the screen on a computer tablet, but not the blackboard to take notes during class.  He and his fellow students at Arizona State University came up with a solution - a portable swivel-head camera and software program that allows David to see blackboard writing or distant objects on the left side of his tablet.  He can take notes on the right.  Hayden says there are 20 million Americans with low vision, but only 40 percent of them fully participate in the work force.   

    "We believe the inaccessibility of education is in large part to blame for that, and so by equipping them with assistive technology that allows them to take their own notes in the same amount of time and the same ease as their fully-sighted peers, we believe it will provide them with better access to education, income and quality of life," Hanson said.

    The Imagine Cup is linked to United Nations Millennium Development Goals that include achieving universal primary education, eradicating extreme hunger and poverty and ensuring environmental sustainability.  

    The team from New Zealand pursued another Millennium goal, combating disease.  The New Zealanders created a software program to help fight malaria, one of the world’s deadliest diseases. The program pulls together satellite images, government data and text messages related to ongoing or potential outbreaks of the mosquito-borne killer.  This helps optimize distribution of nets, vaccines and insecticides.  Team member Edward Peek says the Imagine Cup represents a great opportunity.

    "I’ve competed in the Imagine Cup before a couple of years ago, but didn’t make it through the national finals.  So, I really wanted to take the opportunity to use some of my technical knowledge to actually make a change in the world," Peek said.

    Microsoft Chairman Steve Balmer said projects presented in New York represent the final stage of a global competition in which young people from  183 countries participated.

    "It’s a reminder to us that there is no border or boundary for the kinds of work that innovative ideas and hard work can drive in terms of a global impact on society," Balmer said.

    The competition offers various cash and non-cash prizes.  Many participants also showcase their projects in hope of attracting the attention of venture capitalists to fund production and distribution.  The 10th annual Imagine Cup will be held next year in Sydney, Australia.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora