Imagine Cup is the world’s largest student technology competition. This annual competition inspires students to create innovative solutions to solve world’s toughest problems as defined by the United Nation’s Millennium Development GoalsImagine Cup is like a technology Olympics with students from around the world competing in a number of categories.

Students, educators and industry have been enthusiastic supporters of Imagine Cup.  In April 2010, Imagine Cup US Finals keynote presentations were by James Cameron (Director of “Avatar” and “Titanic”), Craig Mundie (Microsoft’s Chief Research and Strategy Officer), and Karen Cator (Director, Office of Educational Technology, US Dept. of Education).

In this 4 minute video, Michelle Obama motivate 325,000 students from 125 countries – “with a little imagination we can find solutions to our challenges”. Research shows that educators find students solving real-world problem more engaged in learning (download pdf of research or Brochure).

Learn about the different categories in Imagine Cup, review the past winners in each of these categories and sign-up for a category at http://bit.ly/ICRegister:

  1. Software Design: Design an application with Visual Studio and .NET to solve a pressing problem to win the first prize of US $25,000.  Learn more about the SDI competition at http://bit.ly/ICsdi
  2. Game Design: Build a game with XNA Game studio 3.1/4.0 or Silverlight for Windows, Xbox 360, phone or Web, and compete or the first prize of US $8,000. Learn more at http://bit.ly/ICgame
  3. IT Challenge:  take one of eight hour-long technology quizzes on the art and science of developing, deploying and servicing IT systems to compete or the first prize o US $ 8,000. .  Learn more about the IT Challenge quiz at http://bit.ly/ITChallenge and http://bit.ly/ITDates
  4. Digital Media: Create a 1-minute video on solving the world’s toughest problems, using Photos, music and yes, video footage, to compete or the first prize of US $ 8,000. Learn more about the Digital Media competition at http://bit.ly/ICDigitalMedia
  5. Embedded Development: Develop your own embedded solution using Windows Embedded Compact 7 and the Imagine Cup provided embedded platform to help improve the lives of millions of people around the world, and a chance to win the first prize o US $8,000.  Learn more about the Embedded Development competition  http://bit.ly/ICEmbedded

As Michelle Obama encourages the students in this video, you can be ‘ambassadors for innovation’, ‘envoys of excellence’, and ‘put yourself into this wonderful voyage of discovery and creativity enabled by imagine cup’. You can review the past winners in each Imagine Cup category and sign-up to participate at http://bit.ly/ICRegister.

Any High School or College student over the age of 16 years is eligible to participate in Imagine Cup. If you have any questions about Imagine Cup email icus@microsoft.com