High school STEM assistive technology competition connects young innovators with experts in smart devices to solve real-world challenges
TEMPE, Ariz., Aug. 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Insight Enterprises is teaming up with Southwest Human Development, Arizona’s largest nonprofit dedicated to early childhood development, to host an inaugural assistive technology challenge to benefit young children with disabilities.
The MAKERS of Change Assistive Technology Challenge will bring together Valley high school Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), coding, robotics and technology teams to troubleshoot and create “real world” solutions using Internet of Things (IoT) technology designed to address the needs of youth with disabilities.
Insight, the global system integrator of Insight Intelligent Technology Solutions™ for organizations of all sizes, began supporting Southwest Human Development’s ADAPT Shop in 2015 as part of Reach, its technology-based community outreach program. When teammates learned about the new assistive technology challenge, they decided to get involved with the high school teams to provide mentorship and financial support to the challenge.
“MAKERS of Change taps into our passion for transforming lives through technology,” said Curt Cornum, vice president of global business transformation, Insight, who will help judge the competition. “Given our rich expertise in smart devices, it’s exciting to show our innovators of the future a deeper vision for the possibilities of IoT. Doing so while solving challenges faced by children with disabilities makes this competition even more meaningful.”
Each high school team of no more than six participants, plus their coach, will choose one of four scenarios of a real-life problem that is experienced by children with disabilities. Teams will have four weeks to develop and build a solution for the scenario using IoT technology and will be matched with a professional mentor who will assist and guide them through project ideation and execution.
“We’re turning to the next generation of technology leaders to develop implementable solutions to challenges children with disabilities experience in their daily lives,” said Jake Adams, chief development officer at Southwest Human Development. “The challenge will focus on families served by our ADAPT Shop, which is one of the many Easterseals disabilities programs we offer.”
The ADAPT Shop at Southwest Human Development is a place where every project begins with an idea based on a need and ends with a life improved. Thanks to a dedicated and experienced team of therapists and fabricators, children from birth to age 5 with physical disabilities are able to receive the support they need to become independent, active participants in regular activities enjoyed by other children their age.
“Because the ADAPT Shop is such a unique program here in Arizona and throughout the country, the participating high school teams are going to be on the front lines of developing cutting-edge solutions that will actually provide a positive change in the lives of the young children we work with,” added Adams.
Insight supports STEM through annual technology donations to under-served schools, personal mentorship to students in Guadalupe, and providing laptops to foster youth who are preparing for college. We also partner with the Arizona Diamondbacks on the Science of Baseball program, promoting the importance of STEM for elementary and middle-school children.
The registration deadline for the competition is Sept. 7 and there is a $100 team registration fee to participate. Final team presentations will be Oct. 13 at the Phoenix Burton Barr Central Library in downtown Phoenix. Teams will be evaluated on a variety of qualitative measures by a judging panel consisting of representatives from Insight, Arizona State University and Intel Corporation. The winning high school team will win a $500 cash prize.
To register a team, receive more information or sponsor the MAKERS of Change Assistive Technology Challenge, visit www.swhd.org/makers.
Today, every business is a technology business. Insight Enterprises Inc. empowers organizations of all sizes with Insight Intelligent Technology Solutions™ and services to maximize the business value of IT. As a Fortune 500-ranked global provider of digital innovation, cloud and data center transformation, connected workforce, and supply chain optimization solutions and services, we help clients successfully manage their IT today while transforming for the future. From IT strategy and design to implementation and management, our 6,600+ employees help clients innovate and optimize their operations to run business smarter. Discover more at insight.com. NSIT-M
About Southwest Human Development
Southwest Human Development is Arizona’s largest nonprofit dedicated to early childhood development. Recognizing a child’s earliest experiences and relationships establish the foundation for all future development, Southwest Human Development’s more than 40 comprehensive programs focus on young children—ages birth to 5—and their families in the areas of child development, mental health, Easterseals disabilities services, Head Start, early literacy, family support and child welfare, and professional development and training. Founded in 1981, Southwest Human Development serves 135,000 children and families each year. Learn more at www.swhd.org.
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