STEM, Embedded Innovations and the Cornell Cup = Mind-Blowing

Have you ever noticed how the millenials pick up new technology faster than the rest of us? From mobile devices to websites to apps, the learning curve around all things digital favors the young. While this is producing rapid cultural changes, there is universal consensus that Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education is a critical component to our collective economic prosperity.

Now for a third year, Intel is proud to sponsor a great showcase on STEM education, taking place May 1–3 in Orlando, Florida. The Cornell Cup USA, presented by Intel, is a college-level embedded design competition empowering students to become inventors of the newest innovative applications of embedded technology. Design teams of three to five college students received the latest Intel® Atom™ processors and other equipment from sponsors and have been hard at work developing detailed design plans, prototypes, and final presentations that effectively demonstrate the potential of their ideas.

Check out this video to get an idea of what these inspiring young minds are capable of. The levels of creativity, innovation, and technical prowess of these college teams are truly amazing. For example, last year’s winners included:

  • An untethered, powered, upper body exoskeleton for use in the fields of rehabilitation and therapeutic application. This “Titan Arm” was named the grand prize winner.
  • Networked cell phone transceiver nodes that function together as a local extension to the global  cellular network
  • A semi-autonomous wheelchair and body/brain computer interface

On Friday, May 2, 2014, at 8 a.m., Kevin Sellers, vice president, sales and marketing group and director, Creative Services at Intel, will welcome the 33 teams in this year’s competition. On Saturday evening, this year’s winners will be announced. Who’s got what it takes to come out on top this year? Check out the team summaries and project descriptions here.

Deciding between these impressive entries will be no simple task, and I don’t envy the judges. But I think it’s fair to say that each and every team is already well ahead in terms of positioning themselves for promising careers in technology. The competition reinforces the importance of the design process, finding and defining the problem’s real need and validating that the need is met. These skills are highly sought after in today’s competitive marketplace.

Learn more about the Cornell Cup and use @CornellCupUSA and #CornellCupUSA to join the conversation around this year’s competition. Let the teams know what you think of their ideas and if you have any questions; I’m sure they’d welcome your feedback—as well as an interview!

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