Students want to change the world? Business teachers and mentors, want to open up opportunities for incredible talent growth? Imagine Cup Junior (ICJ) 2023 is open for registration, creating exceptional pathways for students to learn about technology to solve the world’s greatest challenges. Participants learn about the impact that technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and cybersecurity can have on the world. All for the benefit of humanity and the Earth’s ecosystems.
The Microsoft Imagine Cup Junior is a global competition for students ages 13-18 where participation in the Educator-supported ICJ is through a Team Leader (such as an Educator, Instructor, Parent , a guardian – over the age of 18). The ICJ covers a range of skills and is open to all students, regardless of technical skill. Through ICJ, educators use lessons to teach their students about AI technologies, students form teams and apply those lessons to dream up a concept or idea to make a difference in their local community or the world that surrounds them. Students explain their concept in a PowerPoint template and record a video to illustrate their concept. No coding is required.
New this year! Microsoft received feedback from last year that some teams would like to prototype their concept. This year, Microsoft is providing information for accessing Azure for Students, where team leaders can add students to collaborate and prototype their concept. Also new this year are Minecraft: Education Edition lessons on ethical AI that educators can use to add additional AI activities to support student learning.
Last year, thousands of students participated in the challenge. The judges recognized 10 global winners (see my Forbes article) who created incredible concepts to meet Microsoft’s AI for Good initiatives.
Imagine Cup Junior Resource Pack
Once registered, team leaders can access all of the resources needed to educate students and organize a great Junior Imagine Cup challenge. These resources include:
· Beginners kit: includes six 45-minute lessons, student guides, submission template, assessment criteria and rubric.
· Deep learning modules: In-depth look at the six technology modules that complement the beginners’ kit, for more advanced learning. Modules include Introduction to AI, Machine Learning, Real-Life Applications of AI, Deep Learning and Neural Networks, AI for Good, and Cybersecurity.
· Team Leader’s Toolkit: includes student certificates, social models, posters and much more to exploit throughout the challenge.
· Assessment criteria and rubric: to understand what will be used by the judges to determine the winners.
After a team leader delivers classroom lessons, based on the deep learning modules, they form teams of one to six students. Each team leader should encourage student teams to apply the lessons and then brainstorm concepts to help make a positive difference in the world. Concepts should align with Microsoft AI for Good initiatives focused on health, cultural heritage, Earth, accessibility, and humanitarian action.
How are Imagine Cup Junior projects submitted?
Students illustrate their concept in the Imagine Cup Junior PowerPoint template. Team leaders submit a completed PowerPoint template and a link to a video illustrating the students’ concept to the same link where registration is now open.
Entries for the 2023 competition must be uploaded to the Imagine Cup website by May 10, 2023. A panel of judges evaluates each team’s project based on the judging criteria and rubric.
The top ten teams will be announced on June 7, 2023 and will receive trophies and prizes.
Imagine Cup Be inspired!
Imagine Cup, the original program for ages 16 and up, has engaged more than two million student competitors since its inception. and the winners highlighted in this Forbes story. Imagine Cup Junior in its fourth annual edition in 2023 allows young students to engage in this most successful and iconic program.
Charu Thomas, who participated in the 2017 Imagine Cup, founded his own company Ox whose clients include top Fortune 500 retailers and is now an investor. Charu was subsequently named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list, AMP’s 2020 Future 50 list and more. Get inspired by the video interview with Charu featured in this Forbes story: Top 11 Resolute Women Leaders Making a Positive and Inspiring Impact in the World.
[This article is driven by my global insights from working daily pro bono with more than one million CEOs, investors, scientists, and experts across 100+ projects.]