Today is the day! Students from across the nation have descended upon Redmond, Wash., for the U.S. finals of Microsoft’s 2012 Imagine Cup competition, the world’s premier student technology competition. This year, more than 100,000 U.S. students registered for the competition and the top teams chosen will compete in the Worldwide Finals in Sydney, Australia in early July.
These stellar students created innovative, tech-based solutions in gaming and software to solve some of the world’s toughest problems while learning valuable skills to prepare them as future leaders. The Miracle Workers, a team in the Minneapolis area, developed a sleeping pad for infants to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other respiratory diseases. This sleeping pad monitors the infant’s heartbeat, breathing and movement, sending the data to a PC which in turn sends alerts via a Windows Phone application using Microsoft Visual Studio.
The passion, knowledge and gumption that these students have is critical for the future. By 2014, it is estimated that one million new jobs in science and technology related fields will be added to the workforce. However, at the current pace in the U.S., only 50 percent of those jobs will be filled with qualified U.S. graduates. The Imagine Cup is designed to support and inspire studies in these critical fields.
A great way to do your part and support these teams from the Minneapolis area, or any others that inspire you is to vote in the U.S. People’s Choice Awards. You can vote for your favorite inventions in the Game Design and Software Design categories via Facebook or via text message. You can also read about all of the U.S. finalists on the Microsoft Tech Student page on Facebook.
Voting is open through May 19, and you are allowed one vote per day until the competition closes. There will be special awards to the Software Design project and the Game Design project that gain the most Facebook votes. Please spread the word and encourage your networks to rally behind the future of technology!