The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE), Korea Ministry of Education and Institute of APEC Collaborative Education partnered to host the 8th e-ICON World Contest at The East-West Center this week. It was the first time the contest was held outside of South Korea.
“Computer science skills and knowledge are critical in order to be competitive in today’s job market and prepared for careers of the future,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “This contest provided a valuable opportunity for students to apply computer science lessons into real world solutions. It was inspiring to see the next generation at the table solving problems that impact our global community.”
The e-ICON contest, which stands for e-learning International Contest of Outstanding New Ages, brought teams together from all over the world to participate including those from Australia, Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Spain and the United States. The contest challenged students to create educational mobile apps as tools to achieve Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations.
Teams were judged based on the quality, usability and completeness of their mobile application; promotional video and story explaining their project; and the creativity, critical thinking and contribution to the community of the project proposal.
The winners of the week-long contest included:
First Place: South Korea-US team for their augmented reality app focused on chemical simulations to reduce global economic hardships.
Second Place: South Africa-Indonesia team for their app focused on promoting mathematics in developing countries to provide a more logical foundation for world understanding.
Third Place: South Korea-Australia team for their app focused on providing teens with vital health information and connections to local health providers anonymously in developing countries, where stimga and social mores may discourage users from seeking assistance.
Students and teachers representing Hawaii/U.S. this year were from Campbell High, Kapolei High, Waipahu High, Kalani High, Kawananakoa Middle, Ewa Makai Middle, Hilo Intermediate, Kalama Intermediate, Leilehua High and Waialua High & Intermediate.
“This was a wonderful opportunity for me to make new friends and work with students from around the world. The biggest challenge was the difference in language, but we are able to get past that and come together to complete our project,” shared Hawaii student Jonathan Le.
Teachers also had the opportunity to hear from educators from Indonesia, South Africa, Taiwan and nine other countries about what they are doing to further computer science education. They discussed policy trends, teaching methods and other opportunities they have experienced trying to integrate and promote the curriculum.
Shane Asselstine, e-ICON judge and Momilani Elementary resource teacher, added “This week was also a learning opportunity for teachers. It was useful to be able to collaborate on the best ways to move our countries forward, together. We all come from very different backgrounds but we share the same goal, which is to ensure that our students are equipped with the skills needed to thrive in an ever-evolving digital world.”