imageSolving the world’s great problems! Changing the world for the better. Giving students projects that not only allow them to show what they know but do something good for the world. All of these are part and parcel of the Imagine Cup. The US Imagine Cup website is updated and ready for the 2012 season. Are you? The Imagine Cup is a worldwide competition for students ages 16 and up. This year there are three main competitions (though more are possible later on) that students may be interested in participating.  Top teams of each competition will be selected to go to the US Finals in Seattle then and may be invited to go to the WW Finals in Australia.

The Software Design competition is the largest, most involved and most prestigious of the competitions. The challenge is to create an application, software alone or software and hardware combined, that solves one of the great problems of the world. Think healthcare, education, the environment, diversity and discrimination and more. Visit the Software Design web page to get more information

In Game Design you can create a game for the Xbox 360, Windows or the Windows Phone. Perhaps involve the Kinect to get people up and moving? Multiplayer or single player, 3-d or 2-d,  it’s up to you. Everybody wins with games that solve critical issues.

The IT Challenge starts out with online quizzes. Are you turning out IT whizzes? Perhaps as part of a course or perhaps as part of service learning where students help manage school networks and systems? The IT Challenge  is a chance to see how one measures up against students from around the world in Information Technology issues. And you know what? A lot of students find the challenge fun, interesting and inspires them to learn more.

In the past several years we have seen high school students hold their own against college and university students with several making it to the US finals. We haven’t sent a high school team to the world wide finals in these three competitions yet! But this could be the year. We did see a high school team go to the worldwide event in a special competition two years ago BTW. In 2012 the worldwide finals will be in Australia. The US finals will be at Microsoft’s corporate headquarters near Seattle WA again this year. Last year it was an amazing event. This year I hope to see even more high school teams make it. And perhaps this year we’ll send some high school teams to Australia. Will that team come from your school? Start now! And let me know if I can help.

For more news and updates you can follow the Imagine Cup online at several social networking sites.

US Imagine Cup

Global Imagine Cup