On 12 April, Microsoft held the Imagine Cup 2013 Indonesia Finals at Epicentrum Walk, Kuningan in Jakarta. A team of Universitas Trunojoyo Madura students emerged as overall champion in a field of 1,077 students from 299 teams, the largest pool of competitors in the Asia Pacific region.
Team Solite Studio excelled in the Games Competition category with their ‘Save the Hamster’ project. Built on the Windows® Phone platform, ‘Save the Hamster’ is a game app that serves as a learning tool for young people to exercise their mental arithmetic skills in a fun and engaging manner.
Following their national success, the four Universitas Trunojoyo Madura students will be representing Indonesia in the Imagine Cup 2013 Worldwide Finals in July in Russia. Team Solite Studio’s triumph also marks the first time a team from a university other than Institut Teknologi Bandung or Institut Teknologi Telkom has won the competition in Indonesia.
Besides Solite Studio, awards were also handed out to the winning teams in the Innovation and World Citizenship categories as well as to the team that showed the greatest entrepreneurial potential in the competition. Each of this year’s award winners received Rp25 million (USD2,575) worth of seed funding from the State Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs of Indonesia to further develop their ideas. The seed funding demonstrates the commitment of the State Ministry of Cooperatives and SMEs to support Microsoft’s efforts to empower youth entrepreneurs through the YouthSpark initiative.
Andreas Diantoro, President Director at Microsoft Indonesia, said, “The annual Imagine Cup competition aims to foster social entrepreneurship and technology among students around the world, providing them the opportunity to turn their creative ideas into reality. Through such activities, we hope to continue encouraging young people to leverage the power of technology to make a positive contribution in Indonesia.”
Since its beginning in 2003, the Imagine Cup has brought together more than 1.65 million young innovators from 190 countries to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges through the development of technologies.
For more information, please visit www.imaginecup.com
“Through such activities, Microsoft hopes to continue encouraging young people to leverage the power of technologies to make a positive contribution in Indonesia.”
- Andreas Diantoro, President Director, Microsoft Indonesia
Microsoft is heightening its commitment to supporting youth development and creating greater opportunities for education for young people around the world. In addition to initiatives such as Partners in Learning and the recently launched YouthSpark programme, Microsoft Singapore is also ramping up its efforts to work closely with the government, communities and schools to empower youth through the power of technology.
As part of the increased focus on projects that enable young people to realise their potential, Microsoft is a key sponsor of the annual Singapore Amazing Flying Machine Competition (SAFMC), which was held for the fifth consecutive year in 2013.
Organised by DSO National Laboratories and the Singapore Science Centre, SAFMC 2013 featured the participation of more than 5,000 aviation enthusiasts nationwide — ranging from primary school students to undergraduates — pitting their technology skills against each other.
Competing teams are not only required to design, build and fly their machines, but they must also present the design concept and their learning journey to a panel of judges. Before the official ‘Challenge Week’ of the competition that took place from 18 to 22 March, a series of workshops and clinic sessions were also held by the organisers to provide professional guidance to the participants. “The purpose of the competition is to instil a strong interest in science and technology among young people. Through the clinics and workshops we organise, we aim to help them hone their skills and enhance their basic understanding of flight theories,” said Tan Soo Kee, Deputy Director of the People Division, DSO National Laboratories.
The SAFMC awards presentation ceremony was held on 23 March at the Singapore Science Centre.
Throughout the competition, Microsoft’s Kinect® technology was integral to the innovative ideas showcased during SAFMC 2013 — with several teams leveraging the motion sensing technology to develop highly sophisticated, Kinect-enabled flying machines.
“By supporting DSO National Laboratories and the Singapore Science Centre, Microsoft has demonstrated our commitment to forging meaningful collaborations and sharing our expertise through partnership-based youth initiatives. Our aim is to equip young people in Singapore with the latest technologies and help them develop the skills they need for the future,” said Stephanie Hung, Public Sector Director of Microsoft Singapore.
“Our aim is to equip young people in Singapore with the latest technologies and help them develop the skills they need for the future.”— Stephanie Hung, Public Sector Director, Microsoft Singapore.
For more information, please visit www.dsoamazingcompetitions.com.sg/safmc
More than 1,000 young innovators in Vietnam participated in the local segment of the Imagine Cup 2013 competition, with a team of four students from the VNU University of Engineering and Technology (VNU-UET) clinching the title of this year’s national champions.
One of only six project submissions that made it to the final round of the local competition, eventual winner, Team Bluetooth, developed a game app called ‘Green Haven Game’ that promotes environmental values and encourages different sustainable initiatives. The app was built on Microsoft’s XNA® platform.
Through its engaging play, the Green Haven Game takes the app user through several key stages of sustainability, such as waste sorting, waste reduction and material conservation, material reuse and recycling. To advance its commercial viability, the game app developed by Team Bluetooth runs on a variety of Windows® and Xbox® based operating systems.
Microsoft Vietnam presented Team Bluetooth with their championship title at an awards ceremony held in Hanoi on 18 April. By coming up tops in the local competition, the VNU-UET students will represent Vietnam in the upcoming Imagine Cup 2013 Worldwide Finals, which will take place in July in Russia.
Nguyen Francis Tuan Anh, Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE) Lead at Microsoft Vietnam, said, “Since the first local competition was held in Vietnam in 2004, the Imagine Cup has seen increased participation from young innovators across the country. Imagine Cup is only the beginning of a long journey for these aspiring tech entrepreneurs, and we hope the competition has provided them with useful insights into how they can leverage the latest technology to create a positive impact on their local communities.”
For more information, please visit www.imaginecup.com
“We hope that the Imagine Cup competition has provided aspiring tech entrepreneurs with useful insights into how they can leverage the latest technology to create a positive impact on their local communities.”
- Nguyen Francis Tuan Anh, DPE Lead, Microsoft Vietnam
On 11 March, Microsoft hosted the winners of the Innovative Teachers and Students National Competition 2012 at an awards ceremony held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall in Colombo.
The annual competition is jointly organised by Microsoft and the Education for Knowledge Society Project (EKSP) of the Education Ministry of Sri Lanka, and is part of Microsoft’s Global Partners in Learning (PiL) programme.
More than 85,000 students and teachers took part in the competition in two separate categories and the participants were judged in terms of their information technology (IT) knowledge — with a special focus on the level of IT competency and creativity that the participants display in developing lesson plans based on the latest software applications and tools.
The awards ceremony was graced by Honourable Bandula Gunawardena, Education Minister of Sri Lanka; Anura Dissanayaka, Additional Secretary of the Education Ministry and EKSP Project Director; and Jamie Harper, General Manager Southeast Asia, Microsoft.
During the event, Hon. Gunawardena commended the joint initiative by Microsoft Sri Lanka and the Education Ministry to boost IT education, particularly in the rural areas of the country.
“The majority of the students who won awards and certificates for excellence in IT were from rural areas, and this alone is testimony to the hard work to bolster IT education in less privileged areas.
“We have already signed an MOU with Microsoft Sri Lanka to expand the reach of IT across the country and provide necessary IT infrastructure to children living in rural communities,” Hon. Gunawardena said.
He also added that the Education Ministry is in the process of setting up 1,000 ‘Mahindodaya IT labs’ in rural schools. Each IT lab will be equipped with at least 40 computers and a ‘language lab’ to facilitate English language learning, which is necessary for IT education.
Sriyan de Silva Wijeyaratne, Country Manager for Microsoft Sri Lanka, said that there is a pressing need for the education sector in Sri Lanka to transform ‘classroom education’ through IT technology.
“The dynamics of our education sector have evolved over the years but we have yet to see any significant change in classroom education. One of the core objectives of this competition is for
Microsoft to work together with the Education Ministry to elevate the standards of IT education,” Mr Wijeyaratne said.
“We have signed an MOU with Microsoft Sri Lanka to expand the reach of IT across the country and provide necessary IT infrastructure to children living in rural communities.”
- Honourable Bandula Gunawardena, Education Minister, Sri Lanka
A team of four University of Auckland students emerged victorious in the 2013 New Zealand Finals of the Imagine Cup competition held on 24-25 March. A total of 549 student teams submitted proposals to the New Zealand leg of this year’s Imagine Cup competition, representing a 30 percent increase in submissions year-on-year.
The winning Team InfinityTek impressed the judges with UVsense, their innovative project that combines ultraviolet-light detecting hardware with a Windows Phone app to monitor an individual’s UV exposure. The wristband sensor measures the amount of UV radiation a person has been exposed to and conveys this information through a smartphone app.
Ming Cheuk, a member of Team InfinityTek, said, “We went in search of a problem that was widespread and affected us personally, and also one that we could solve with current technologies. We truly believe that our system will change behaviours and attitudes towards skin cancer prevention. Through the Imagine Cup, we were given the opportunity to develop skills outside of our regular studies. We wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without the support of our mentors, Microsoft and our family and friends.”
The winning proposal was selected by a panel of 27 judges that included technical academics, industry leaders, technology media and senior executives from Microsoft New Zealand. Following their victory, Team InfinityTek will be representing New Zealand in the Imagine Cup 2013 Worldwide Finals in July in Russia.
Candace Kinser, CEO of the New Zealand Information and Communications Technology Group and one of the judges on the panel, said, “The UVsense project highlighted the imagination and technical skills of Team InfinityTek, as they have a well thought-out concept and a well-developed prototype. Skin cancer resulting from over-exposure to the sun is a worldwide issue, and this team has created a novel way to help people of all ages manage their exposure easily and effectively.”
Since its beginning in 2003, the Imagine Cup — the premier student technology competition — has brought together more than 1.65 million young innovators from 190 countries to help resolve some of the world’s toughest challenges through the development of technologies. New Zealand has a strong track record in the global competition, with teams from the country having performed well in the Worldwide Finals over the past three years.
“Through the Imagine Cup, we were given the opportunity to develop skills outside of our regular studies.”
- Ming Cheuk, Team Member, Team InfinityTek
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