Quite a week last week. You may have read my posts about the CSTA CS & IT Conference. I hope you did because it was a great conference. The first ever WorldWide Imagine Cup finals to be held in the US was held in New York City at the same time. You may want to read about the Imagine Cup news as well. An amazing experience being involved the few days I was able to be there. But as usual I tired to keep up with what else was going on and save some links to share. Not sure I will have many next week as I am on vacation this week. I have queued up posts to appear during the week though. Sleep is for the weak as they say. Smile Though honestly I am hoping I can catch up on some sleep while on vacation. I may be getting old.

Some time last week a teacher asked me if Microsoft invested (as in cash) in the Imagine Cup teams to help them make their projects into a business. I answered “not really” and that we did provide some introductions to venture capitalists and other training that could help the teams. And there is our BizSpark program which I forgot to mention but that is more general start up help any way. That was true when I said it but things changed on Wednesday. Microsoft Unveils $3 Million Grant Program to Help Students Solve World Problems

During the ceremony, Microsoft also unveiled plans to launch a three-year, $3 million competitive grant program to help recipients realize their vision of solving the world’s toughest problems.

“The innovators, entrepreneurs and humanitarians who compete in the Imagine Cup have developed an inspiring spectrum of projects, raising the bar higher and higher each year,” said S. Somasegar, senior vice president, Developer Division, Microsoft. “We are in awe of the students’ solutions for addressing social and real-world challenges, and want to help them take their projects to the next level with the financial, technical and business support they need to change the world.”

Imagine Cup finalists will be eligible to apply for grants that include a combination of cash, software, training, consulting and other support. Microsoft will announce details about the grant program and application process later this summer.

More on this later in the week, but last week we announced that Small Basic 1.0 now available.  Language support is up to 20 languages with the edition of Icelandic, Icelandic? Yep, Icelandic!

Over on Coding 4 Fun there was an article on Kinect Buttons that may be helpful as you create Kinect projects. And speaking of Kinect, what week, Microsoft Robotics group released Kinect Services for RDS. Kinect + Robots = more fun. Check it out all you robot fans!

Have you seen .NET Gadgeteer really cool fun for making serious gadgets?  Read about it here.

In conjunction with the Imagine Cup Microsoft hosted a Women Innovators Dinner: A Night full of Wisdom I had to miss it unfortunately but you can at least read about it as I did. I missed a lot.

One contest note before I sign off, Student App-a-Thon contest for Windows Phone developer students is ongoing. Check it out!