Today we’re thrilled to launch the fifth annual Microsoft Imagine Cup Junior (ICJ) global student competition. Registration and content are now available for educators to help students learn about AI technology and how it can be used to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.
Last year thousands of students from more than 100 countries participated in the ICJ challenge. The judges recognized 10 global winners who created incredible concepts to address Microsoft's AI for Good initiatives. Many countries and areas hosted local competitions and acknowledged the top local teams.
In 2024, we’re excited to see even more students participate in the challenge and learn the impact that digital technologies such as AI, machine learning, and cybersecurity can have on the world.
What is Imagine Cup Junior?
The Microsoft Imagine Cup Junior is a AI Tech for Good global student competition for students ages 5-18 built on the success of Microsoft’s Imagine Cup. Through ICJ, educators utilize lessons to teach their students about AI technologies, students form teams, and apply these lessons to dream up a concept or idea to make a difference in their local community or world around them.
Students explain their concept in a PowerPoint template and record a video to illustrate their concept. No coding is required, and the competition is open to any student who is interested in learning more about AI.
New this year! We have several new resources to support student learning including an innovative lesson about generative AI and how it is different than traditional or rule-based AI. In addition, Imagine Cup Junior is now open to all students ages 5-18. Students aged 13-18 will compete in the AI for Good category and students aged 5-12 will compete in the Technology for Good category.
Imagine Cup Junior Registration
Participation in Imagine Cup Junior is via a Team Leader (such as an educator, instructor, staff member, school leader, parent, guardian) over the age of 18.2 The 2024 challenge is open for registration via www.imaginecup.com/junior starting today!
Imagine Cup Junior Resource Pack
Once registered, Team Leaders can access all the resources needed to educate students and run a great Imagine Cup Junior challenge. These resources include:
AI for Good Resource Pack for students ages 13-18:
- Getting Started Kit: includes six 45-minute lessons, student guides, submission template, rules and regulations, and rubric.
- Deep Learning Modules: in-depth overview of the six technology modules that supplement the Getting Started Kit, for more advanced learning. Modules include Intro to AI, Machine Learning, AI Applications in Real Life, Deep Learning and Neural Networks, AI for Good, and Cybersecurity.
- Team Leader Toolkit: includes student certificates, social templates, posters, and more to leverage throughout the challenge.
- Judging Criteria and Rubric: to understand what will be used by judges to determine the winners.
Tech for Good Resource Pack for students ages 5-12:
- Getting Started Kit: includes five 45-minute lessons, Tech for Good playbook, submission template, rubric, and rules and regulations.
Team Leaders may also access on-demand AI webinars to further understand best practices for running an Imagine Cup Junior project and facilitating additional learning for students.
After a Team Leader provides lessons from the Getting Started Kit, students form teams of two to six students for the AI for Good category and teams of two to forty for the Tech for Good category. Each Team Leader then encourages the student teams to apply the lessons and brainstorm concepts to help make a positive difference to the world. Concepts should be aligned to the Microsoft AI for Good initiatives focused on Health, Cultural Heritage, Earth, Accessibility, and Humanitarian Action.
How are Imagine Cup Junior projects submitted?
Students illustrate their concept in the Imagine Cup Junior PowerPoint template. Team Leaders submit a completed PowerPoint template and link to a video illustrating the students’ concept at: www.imaginecup.com/junior
Submissions for the 2024 competition must be uploaded to the Imagine Cup website by May 8, 2024. A panel of judges evaluates each team’s project based on the Judging Criteria and Rubric.
The top ten teams will be announced on June 13, 2024, and receive trophies and prizes.
How to get started with Imagine Cup Junior
- Register at www.imaginecup.com/junior
- Download the Imagine Cup Junior AI for Good Resource Pack for students ages 13-18 and/or Tech for Good Resource Pack for students ages 5-12
- Incorporate the resources into class curriculum and lesson plans.
- Form student teams sized two (2) to six (6) students for the AI for Good category and teams of two (2) to forty (40) for the Tech for Good category and collaborate with them to develop their idea and build their concept in the PowerPoint submission template. Have student teams create a video illustrating their idea.
- Submit projects by May 8, 2024 via www.imaginecup.com/junior
- Celebrate teams who are crowned global challenge winners, to be announced June 13, 2024 on the Microsoft Education Blog.
1Team Leaders and students do not need any background in technology– we’ve made every aspect of Imagine Cup Junior accessible to beginner levels in bite-sized modules by technology area. We can’t wait to see what ideas students come up with this year to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges!
2Open only to student teams ages 5-18 with a team leader 18+. Game ends 5/8/24. For full details, see Official Rules. Note: If a winning team leader is a public sector employee, the prize will be awarded directly to the public sector institution and subject to receipt of a gift letter signed by the institution’s ethics officer, attorney, or designated executive/officer responsible for the organization’s gifts/ethics policy.