Texas Instruments (TI) announces a coding challenge for students: develop a solution using TI education technology that helps improve daily lives. Maybe an alarm clock that shakes the bed until a person wakes up, or something related to the environment, like a smart irrigation system that conserves water, or a device that tracks a home’s electricity consumption in real-time.
Whatever students can imagine, TI wants them to build it using their graphing calculators and the TI-InnovatorTM Hub. Innovator, as it’s best known, is a palm-sized box with a built-in microcontroller that plugs into a TI graphing calculator and allows students to imagine, design and test creative solutions. Innovator is powered by the same technology leading engineers around the world use to design cutting-edge innovations from self-driving cars to smartphones. So what can today’s middle and high school students create with Innovator?
Teams of up to five students, ages 13 to 19, can enter the TI Codes Contest by submitting a design proposal. “At TI, we want to help teachers keep students engaged in math and science as visions of summer vacation start dancing in their heads,” said Curtis Brown, former teacher turned math specialist for TI. “This fun, hands-on contest combines coding, collaboration and some spirited competition to keep students focused on learning important STEM concepts as the school year comes to a close.”
The contest is simple to enter and includes four rounds. In the first round, students submit a written proposal outlining an everyday process they want to improve and their proposed solution. These proposals will be evaluated by a panel of judges from TI, who will determine which teams move on to the next round. As teams advance, they must start building their proposed design. Ten semi-finalists will receive a TI graphing calculator, a TI-Innovator Hub with TI LaunchPad™ Board, and a $50 gift card for additional supplies to build their design and showcase it in a video.
The public will then vote on their favorite semi-finalist design video and select the winner. Each member of the winning team receives a graphing calculator and TI’s new calculator-controlled robotic vehicle, the TI-Innovator Rover. The teacher that sponsored the winning team also wins a $250 gift card to help cover the cost of future class activities. Even if teams don’t make it to the final round, they will still be entered to win random prizes aimed at sparking their interest in coding and STEM.