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Friday, July 1, 2022

Tech contest fosters technological innovation among youth

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – More than 250 high school students in Vietnam have joined the TechGenius competition to pitch their ideas to solve real-world problems and positively impact society with technology.

The top 10 teams in both the Information Technology (IT) and Engineering categories recently presented their solutions to a panel of industry experts at the virtual Grand Final. They explored the application of technology to tackle today’s issues in environmental protection, healthcare and online learning and teaching.

Impactful solutions to help people with disabilities 

The two first prizes in the IT category were presented to the HDK team from Nguyen Tat Thanh High School for The Gifted in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum and the Anonymous team from the High School for Gifted Students, Hanoi University of Science, and Vietnam National University.

HDK’s idea was to develop a technical assistance device that can translate sign language into text to support the deaf or those with hearing loss to communicate effectively. According to the team, current translation products are not user-friendly for the hearing impaired as they rely on light and are large in size.

Inspired by a foreign language learning mobile application, the Anonymous team with three female students developed the A-Eye application, which can detect objects, distances, text and human expressions.

“We hope the application can become the alternative eyes to support visually impaired people and help them in their daily activities. All features are coded on the Android studio using the Java programming language and can be easily downloaded,” Nguyen Ngoc Anh, one of the Anonymous team members, said.

Innovative engineering solutions for sustainability and safety issues

The WP team from Son Tay High School and The Invincibles team from Nguyen Tat Thanh Secondary and High School took the first prizes for Engineering solutions.

To prevent water pollution, three students from the WP team self-assembled a robot prototype that can collect and remove trash from water surfaces. The solar-powered product is equipped with radar sensors to detect waste and avoid obstacles during its operation.

The WP team aspires to develop their robot further in the future.

“We hope to develop more features to measure water pollution levels and filter microplastic particles to ensure the safety of aquatic organisms,” Nguyen Thi Minh Huyen from the WP team said. “Thanks to the competition, we learned how to develop a website, make 3D simulated products and present ideas.”

The Invincibles team, meanwhile, initiated a sustainable solution called Computer vision, Assisted, Safety, and Signal (CASS) to prevent road users from crashing, which involves identifying red lights, road signs, detecting dangers that could potentially cause accidents and warning users through sounds.

“Our team’s solution aims to create a device that applies advanced machine learning algorithms and various types of sensors as data heads to identify and predict road accidents to enhance road traffic safety measures in Vietnam,” said Duc Anh from The Invincibles.

Other solutions addressed at the competition included a learning application designed to replace textbooks, a website to search for mentorship and manage timetables, a light pollution app and a device to protect students’ eyesight when they study online for a long time.

According to Deputy Secretary General of the Vietnam Internet Association and TechGenius judge Hoang Viet Tien, most of the solutions were presented as complete products ready to be applied in real life. “I’m amazed at how they displayed their leadership, agility and resilience during the competition, especially when all the rounds were conducted online.”

RMIT Dean of School of Science, Engineering & Technology and one of the competition judges Professor Brett Kirk emphasized the importance of students gaining teamwork and creative thinking skills from the competition.

“TechGenius focuses on creative solutions for real-world problems and creates opportunities for young innovators to practice teamwork and presentation skills – the key qualities of future tech leaders,” Professor Kirk said.

Jointly organized by RMIT University and the Hoa Hoc Tro magazine, the nine-month competition saw nearly 100 creative ideas of Vietnamese students from 60 high schools from 17 cities and provinces in Vietnam.

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