The New York Academy of Sciences and Ericsson have partnered in a two-year program to provide two hundred students in Oman an opportunity to collaborate on a global “Internet of Things” (IoT) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Innovation Challenge .
Through the Academy’s Launchpad platform, teams of up to six students aged 13 to 17 are paired with a mentor who is a STEM professional, graduate student, or post-doctoral fellow. In the Fall Challenge, the teams designed smart homes that integrate technology to collect, process, and store environmental and health information. The data is to be used to promote the sustainable use of energy as well as the physical and mental health of the homes’ residents.
With Ericsson’s support, 100 Omani students participate in the program each year through the Omani Ministry of Education’s Center of Excellence. This past semester, teams from around Oman took on some big ideas to integrate IoT technology in homes. Some teams used Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve Wi-Fi performance or IoT to improve quality of life for people with mobility challenges. One team investigated how Virtual Reality (VR) can improve interactions with smart devices while another incentivized the use of smart devices to save families money. While the projects vary, the themes are clear – how can we use STEM to improve our communities?
“We are pleased to work closely with Ericsson and the New York Academy of Sciences’ Junior Academy,” said Huda Al Dughaishi, Innovation Specialist at the Ministry of Education in Oman. “This program will help turn our passionate students into problem solvers as they design innovative solutions for smart houses and other global challenges. We are confident students will gain through self-learning. They will deepen their subject knowledge and strengthen their ability to take action to solve real-world problems in Oman.”
“We are happy to be partnering with Oman’s Ministry of Education and Ericsson to help students in Oman develop global STEM skills,” said Nicholas Dirks, President and CEO of the Academy. “This Internet of Things Smart Homes Challenge is just one way in which the Academy’s Global STEM Alliance builds bridges between students around the world. We welcome the Omani students as they join our network of 20,000 young people in 100 countries.”
“It gives me a chance to be in a great group, develop research, innovate, and discuss a real issue,” said Alhassan Al Ryami, whose team designed smart home that used roof-top solar panels to protect against power outages. Alhassan, who is 14 and lives in Muscat, added: “Thanks to the Junior Academy for giving me this opportunity, which taught me how to develop research for a real problem. Also, it develops my collaboration skills.”
“The latest IoT competition deepens the knowledge of young Omanis about smart homes.” said Abdullah Al Balushi, Country Manager of Ericsson Oman. “The talent and caliber of the students that we have witnessed is very impressive and we believe our joint efforts with the Junior Academy program is successful at honoring the skills of the students for the technological future.”
Students participate in these Innovation Challenges through the New York Academy of Sciences’ Junior Academy program. The Junior Academy is currently accepting applications, through June 30. A second cohort of students from Oman will be entering the program.
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About the New York Academy of Sciences
The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been committed to advancing science for the benefit of society. With more than 20,000 Members in 100 countries, the Academy promotes scientific and technical knowledge, addresses global challenges with science-based solutions, and sponsors a wide variety of educational initiatives at all levels for STEM and STEM-related fields. The Academy hosts programs and publishes content in the life and physical sciences, the social sciences, nutrition, artificial intelligence, computer science, and sustainability. The Academy also provides professional and educational resources for researchers across all phases of their careers. To learn more, visit: www.nyas.org
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