Following the inaugural GIX Global Innovation Winter Camp, 44 outstanding middle school students from various provinces and cities across the country participated in the Global Innovation Summer Camp held in Seattle, U.S. from July 27 to August 5, 2018.
The GIX Global Innovation Summer Camp inspires middle school students with a sense of social responsibility and mission from many aspects such as sustainable development, eco-environmental protection, high-tech. The camp focused on three major global environmental challenges: efficient food production in the future, saving water and energy at home and protection of biodiversity. It inspired students experience and make innovation from three dimensions of technology, entrepreneurship and design-thinking (TED) based on teamwork.
The Innovation Challenge is one of the biggest features of the Global Innovation Experience Camp, which kicked off on July 31. The theme of the Innovation Challenge is solving global challenges including effective food production, biodiversity conservation and household water and energy conservation in the future. 44 campers were randomly divided into 11 groups to conduct brainstorming, project planning, project execution and presentation around any of the three themes. They used the equipment such as 3D printers in the GIX building for project testing and prototyping.
On August 3, senior judges from the academics and the industry selected the outstanding project awards of the challenge based on four criteria of the social value of the project, project creativity, technological innovation, project completion and presentation.
2. What the campers say
Keyword 1 - Breathing Innovation
I have experienced the atmosphere of innovation and learned more about makers in the camp. At first, teams from Microsoft and other projects shared their experience with us. Their innovations and technology inspired me. For example, in some of the projects, they used machine learning for image recognition to detect animal species instead of traditional visual recognition algorithms. They also used images to judge the state of the fields. These inspired us to complete our own project. This is quite different from what we usually do of directly starting a project in China.
I have seen a lot of high-tech, such as artificial intelligence and deep learning. I knew nothing about it before. Yet listening to the talks of the human-computer interaction by our teacher Wang Yuntao and Microsoft team’s project of using AI to protect biodiversity, I gradually found the goal of learning in the future. The Microsoft team introduced the use of artificial intelligence to protect biodiversity projects, and I gradually found the future. The direction of learning.
I experienced a free and open innovation atmosphere at GIX (Summer Camp). In the camp, if you want to do some innovations, you first have to discover a problem through brainstorming with other team members, and then find the solutions together. Here, we have more communication (compared with doing projects at home). Every one of us in the group bang out our ideas, and therefore we can get a good idea. There are not many restrictions for making innovations. One can be more open-minded with a broader vision (compared with doing projects at home).
Keyword 2 – Transforming the Way of Thinking
Before when I was doing innovative projects, I thought about whether the project had commercial value and whether there was technological innovation. At that time, I always put it on my own shoes. After taking the GIX summer camp, I found out that doing innovative projects, one need to have many more concerns, such as the environment, agriculture, ecology, such as those who still need help, whether the project make the world a better place? These will be the top concerns when I am working on a project (in the future).
I have learned that when you promote a project to others, the focus is not what the project is, but what it can bring them. This just inspired me. We must start from the source, from the benefit, so that they can be gripped to buy the product or technology. This is what I never thought about before.
Keyword 3 - Learned and Improved
I was somewhat restricted at the beginning of this project. I was always thinking about how to use the algorithm when I was conceiving, but in fact the most important thing was not the algorithm. The algorithm was just to improve space efficiency, but to make this device really work in the beginning was more important, even if it had no algorithm. General knowledge was what I gained from the camp, more was changes on some of my thoughts. I learned about what the world was about, what some of the best corporations were about. It is the first time that I have close contact with excellent teachers from Tsinghua. Since then, innovation will always be my pursuit.
My father is a math teacher. Before I came, he said that I have learned so much professional knowledge, and maybe there is not much that can be used in the summer camp. He is right. Being here, I realized that in the future work, professional knowledge is just one aspect. Innovative consciousness is also very important. It is that one can propose a new idea, can think of something others can not think of. This is what I have gained in the camp. For example, in our project, everyone knows that fiber can conduct light. But not many people propose to use this to collect light and pass it to the house. I did. It can be considered as an innovation.
Keyword 4 - Teamwork
Through three-day challenge, I found that one person's idea will be subject to many restrictions, but many people's ideas will make into a very fascinating idea. This is I am most impressed that to temporarily abandon some of my own interests for the benefits of the group, the group will become stronger.
I didn't pay much attention to teamwork before. After being tested by the teachers, I've been familiar with the teamwork. I have accumulated experience to cooperate better with excellent people in the future after the innovation challenge.
3. Best Project and Outstanding Campers
Best Project Awards
Project: YourLunch - An AIintelligent food savingsystem for schools and restaurants
Team members: FAN Tianyu、LI Ang、WANG Guanghan、ZHANG Zi’ang
Project: Morlight - Faster growth Less water More food
Team members: HUANG Chengyu、YANG Ziye、ZHAO Tianxing、LI Chen
DU Tianyuan、FAN Tianyu、LIU Aining、FAN Zeyue、HUANG Wen、ZHAO Tianxing、LIU Xianchi、DU Haotian