LOS ANGELES, Aug. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Technovation, a global technology education nonprofit, announced that two teams of girls and two family teams - representing Kazakhstan, Kuwait, India and Ireland - were named winners at its annual Technovation World Summit held virtually August 13-14. The two-day event brought together more than 1,000 members and supporters of the Technovation community from around the world. The Awards Ceremony, held during World Summit, is a culmination of the annual Technovation Girls and Technovation Families programs in which nearly 2,000 teams of girls (ages 10-18) and families (with children ages 8-16) are challenged to develop a mobile application or AI prototype to solve an issue they've identified in their community. This year, teams across 60+ countries overcame incredible odds stemming from COVID-19 to participate with the support of more than 3,500 mentors and chapter ambassadors.
All finalists will receive a portion of the nearly $30,000 being awarded. The cash and prizes are intended to help further fund their education in STEM and/or assist teams in bringing their product to market.
The first place teams for Technovation Girls are:
Senior Division Team: Memory Haven
App name: Memory Haven
Memory Haven helps families that have been impacted by dementia. Memory Haven incorporates a music playlist alongside other healthcare features like alerts, face and voice recognition, and health checks to help patients with dementia, as well as those who take care of them.
Junior Division Team: Jyothi
App name: Zesha
Zesha helps both Alzheimer's patients and their caretakers by providing a digital caretaker. Zesha's features include the ability to listen to and answer repetitive questions from users using Dialogflow, patient GPS tracking, helpful daily checklists, quick-dial emergency numbers, and links to entertainment sites to help patients cope with boredom.
The first place teams for Technovation Families are:
Senior Division Team: Help2Hear
App name: Help2Hear
Help2Hear is an automated sign language interpreter for people with hearing disabilities. A camera records the signs a person articulates and, using AI, recognizes and interprets a person's movements into text.
Junior Division Team: Al Mohammad Ali Family
App name: Kuwait Birds Tracker
Kuwait Birds Tracker helps protect local endangered bird species by encouraging people to take a picture of a bird with their phone, and then using AI to predict what kind of bird they are looking at and suggests tips for keeping it safe, using vision-recognition tools.
In addition, Memory Haven, the Technovation Girls team from Ireland, was named this year's People's Choice award recipients for their app, Memory Haven, following online voting at World Summit.
Finalists from all over the world participated including girls and families from Brazil, Canada, Kenya, Pakistan, Spain, and the United States. Similarly, their projects ranged in mission—while a Pakistani family created an AI prototype to prevent child abduction, their Spanish counterparts sought to assist people with visual impairments and an American family created an app for monitoring a person's health and pain levels. Meanwhile, a team of teenage girls from Brazil built a social app to keep women and the LGBTQ+ community safe from dangerous or uncomfortable situations and a team of 5 Kenyan girls created a cross-platform app addressing government corruption. And for the first time, a team of 5 multinational girls worked together virtually to create an app addressing the exodus of children from educational institutions in underserved communities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Technovation partners with leading community and corporate supporters, including those from Adobe, Cisco, FactSet, HSBC, Intel, GM, Google, NVIDIA, Oracle, Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, Salesforce, Vodafone and Uber to bring opportunities and access to girls and families everywhere.
"We are thrilled to partner with Technovation to strengthen local communities and help girls and women develop vital skills needed to be leaders in an increasingly tech-centric future," said Alison Coates, Head of Future Skills, HSBC. "Technovation creates significant and lasting change through providing opportunities to practice real-world problem solving – helping people gain innovation, decision-making and collaboration experience. At HSBC we have an ambition to help one million people in our communities to increase their employability by the end of 2020, and we are so pleased to support Technovation's amazing work as part of this effort."
Recently, the UN released a report warning that the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 could wipe out progress humanity has made over the past 50 years in education, equality and health with girls and women being the most severely impacted. Now, more than ever, we need to support local communities. Through its programs, Technovation has empowered more than 140,000 young people and parents from 100+ countries to see themselves as change makers who have the power to solve problems and lift up their communities using technology.
"Every year we are blown away by the tenacity of the girls and families participating in our programs around the world and the incredible empathy and creativity they apply to tackling critical, timely issues such as climate change and distance learning, or COVID-19 and mental health," said Tara Chklovski, CEO & founder, Technovation. "In a year when all of us are reeling from new and different realities brought on by the global pandemic, their resilience and determination to positively impact their communities continues to be an inspiration."
"Each individual brings their own unique creativity and ideas for what our future world will look like, and how technology can be used to create it," said Marian Croak, Vice President of Site Reliability Engineering for Ads, Corporate Engineering and YouTube, at Google, Inc. "We must continue investing in girls and other historically underrepresented individuals and show them our support to keep thinking and dreaming. Our society is desperate for their minds and energy."
Technovation is a global tech education nonprofit that empowers children and adults to become more confident leaders, creators and problem-solvers. Technovation offers interactive learning programs in which young people ages 8-18 and adults in their community learn how to use AI and app-based technologies to solve real-world problems. Technovation partners with leading organizations like UNESCO and UN Women, and with mentors from companies like Google, NVIDIA and Adobe to reach children and families in more than 100 countries. To learn more, visit technovation.org.
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