Illinois STEM Challenges completes the year virtuallyJuly 03, 2020 16:14 Comments 
Last month, I completed a school year working with students at Infinity Math, Science & Technology High School.
The students were participating in the Illinois Science & Technology Institute's STEM challenge and I was one of a group of volunteers helping to mentor them. This year's theme asked students to design projects using Artificial Intelligence. I was impressed by the projects - each of which was designed to help those less fortunate. The three projects delivered were:
Fast Food Sign Language - an application designed to assist deaf people communicating their order at a fast food restaurant
OS-Fruitable - an app designed to help blind people by identify a fruit and its level of spoilage, based on a phone photograph
Pal Protect - a virtual friend device that allows parents to track younger children and for children to call for assistance when needed, while also providing entertainment.
We were supposed to host the school presentations at the Chicago Microsoft office; then select one team to represent the school at the statewide showcase to be held at the Museum of Science and Industry. But the COVID-19 crisis threw a monkey wrench into those plans. So this event was entirely virtual.
It was a pleasure to see the ideas that students came up with to help their communities using AI. And it was a pleasure mentoring high school students for this event the second year in a row.
I am looking forward to next year!