Students triumph at AI challenge

The BDSC team won the Australian and NZ Regional award. From left to right, Vidhita Bhatti, Starz Tawhara, Syri Albrett-Stafford, Taki Chen, Sonia Leung and Shraddha Sharma.

A team of five from Botany Downs Secondary College has struck gold in the annual Imagine Cup Junior AI (Artificial Intelligence) for Good Challenge.

Last week Microsoft announced the top 10 regional winners.

Thousands of students aged 13-18 from Australia and New Zealand participated in the challenge.

They had to submit creative ideas to solve some of the world’s biggest issues using the power of AI, business enterprise, and innovative skills.

“BDSC Commerce integrated Imagine Cup Junior in their Year 10 Business Pathways classes,” Shraddha Sharma, head of commerce, said.

They imagined how artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning could be applied to real world social, cultural, health, or environmental challenges.

Students also learned about Microsoft’s ethical approach to AI.

“Out of 450 team submissions, one Year 10 team Bye to Germs won the Australia and New Zealand Regional Award – an outstanding achievement by Syri Albrett-Stafford, Taki Chen, Vidhita Bhatti, Sonia Leung and Starz Tawhara,” Sharma said.

Bye to Germs’ winning idea was to create a germ scanning app to improve hygiene in people’s daily lives which includes accessibility for the blind or visually impaired.

The app detects the percentage of harmful bacteria on different surfaces.

“The team used their excellent communication and collaboration skills and applied critical thinking and creativity to come up with a breath-taking array of inventive concepts and plans,” Sharma said.

Sharma received the 2022 Microsoft Teacher Commendation Award for his effort and for being the most engaged teacher.