June 22, 2024

Microsoft empowers Kuwaiti youth in nationwide Imagine Cup Junior competition

 Microsoft empowers Kuwaiti youth in nationwide Imagine Cup Junior competition

Competition will empower students in Kuwait aged between 5-18 years old on how technologies such as Artificial Intelligence can help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges.

April, 2024; Kuwait City, Kuwait

Microsoft in partnership with the Kuwait Ministry of Education and the Sabah Al-Ahmad Center for Giftedness and Creativity (SACGC) today announced that applications for Microsoft’s Imagine Cup Junior competition in Kuwait are now open. Currently in its fifth year, Imagine Cup Junior is a global competition for students aged between 5-18 years old to learn more about the latest advancements in technology and how they can be leveraged to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.

This year’s edition of the competition focuses on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, and Cybersecurity technologies and how they can be used as a force for good. Starting this year, Microsoft has also expanded the competition to add a new category for students between the ages of 5-12 years, with specially designed lessons for early learners. A new lesson around Generative AI has also been introduced for students aged 13-18 years to help them enhance their understanding of the latest AI applications; and five new hands-on activity lessons have also been added to familiarize students with Microsoft’s AI for Good initiatives.

Mona Salem, Acting Computer Advisor, Kuwait Ministry of Education, said that empowering the next generation of Kuwaiti youth to be the changemakers of tomorrow remains a top priority for the ministry. “We are always at the forefront of finding new and exciting ways to enhance innovation, creativity, and critical thinking among our young innovator community. Our partnership with Microsoft on the Imagine Cup Junior competition in Kuwait is testament to our joint commitment to empower these bright minds with the tools, resources, and opportunities they require to learn new skills, prepare for the future workforce, and help shape a brighter future for Kuwait.”

Alaeddine Karim, Country Manager, Microsoft Kuwait, noted that educational institutions, not just in Kuwait, but around the world often struggle to help students keep pace with the rapid advancements in technologies such as AI. “Our collaboration with the Kuwait Ministry of Education and the Sabah Al-Ahmad Center for Giftedness and Creativity on the Imagine Cup Junior competition in Kuwait will help to close the gap between what students are learning about the latest technologies in classrooms and their real-life applications in the world around them today. The competition will also serve as an invaluable platform for the Kuwaiti youth to channel their imaginations into creating innovative new solutions that will help create a better world for all.”

In preparation for the launch of the competition, Microsoft worked closely with the Kuwait Ministry of Education to empower over 770 teachers across various schools and educational institutions in Kuwait with in-depth knowledge on the Imagine Cup Junior competition, and to equip them with a better understanding of concepts including Large AI models, Generative AI, Responsible and Ethical use of AI, and the importance of cybersecurity. This will support the educators in offering their students the opportunity to be part of the competition. 

To further empower young change-makers across Kuwait, Microsoft is also collaborating with the Sabah Al-Ahmad Center for Giftedness and Creativity to conduct numerous training sessions and workshops which will support students on their innovation journey. These sessions will focus on areas such as improving digital literacy, updates on Microsoft’s breakthroughs in AI, and various initiatives launched to expand the use of technology to tackle challenges across industries.

Salem Al-Baz, Director of Technology and Development, Sabah Al-Ahmad Center for Giftedness and Creativity, expressed the center’s enthusiasm on being part of the Imagine Cup Junior competition in Kuwait, saying: “Some of the brightest and most innovative ideas on how we can improve the world around us come from some of the youngest minds in our communities. We are proud to be working alongside the Ministry of Education and Microsoft to help these young minds pave the way for a happier, healthier, and safer Kuwait, and we can’t wait to see the creative concepts they will come up with during the competition.”

Students between the ages of 13-18 years can register for the Imagine Cup Junior 2024 competition under the ‘AI for Good’ category; while students between the ages of 5-12 years can register for the ‘Tech for Good’ category by following this link. Participation in the Imagine Cup Junior competition for students is via a Team Leader such as an educator, instructor, staff member, parent, or guardian over the age of 18. Team Leaders must submit projects on behalf of their student teams by May 8, 2024 23:59 (GMT+0).