This week, 34 teams from around the world are set to compete in a contest like no other — the Imagine Cup technology competition, which showcases young innovators and their brilliant creations. The teams, which are finalists in the world-class competition, are in Seattle this week to compete for the winning title in three categories — Games, Innovations and World Citizenship. In the live-streaming event on Friday, Aug. 1 (don't miss it!) an overall winning team will compete as overall winner of the Imagine Cup in front of judges that include Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. (Among other prizes, the winning team will earn a private meeting with Bill Gates.)
This year’s teams have completed some incredible projects. High Rise from Nigeria developed a test for cataracts using just a smartphone; I Copy You from Qatar created a robot designed for interacting with children with autism. Other teams have created games that lead you through the dusty kingdom under the bed or take your kids on a “fitness adventure” with the Xbox Kinect.
The 2014 Imagine Cup finalists might have even crafted the next big social network.
And Imagine Cup Day, held at the Museum of History and Industry on Saturday, August 2, 2014. is your chance to see these innovators in person! Not only will you meet the amazing Imagine Cup finalists and get a firsthand look at the games and gadgets they’ve created, you and your kids will have the chance to take part in fun, free events for the whole family.
If you need even more convincing to make it out to MOHAI on August 2, here are eight reasons to put Imagine Cup Day on your calendar for this weekend.
1. Take a look at the amazing entries in the Imagine Cup competition.
Microsoft’s Imagine Cup is a student technology competition. The projects, created by teams of brilliant students ages 16 and up, are technology solutions that fall in the categories of games, innovation or world citizenship. You’ll meet international teams who have poured their hearts into innovative projects ranging from a nail polish mixer that creates custom colors to an app that turns color into sound.
This is the 12th year of the competition, and champions go on to launch businesses, make extraordinary strides in medical technology, and beyond. Don’t miss your chance to see these incredible inventions in action.
2. Help choose the People’s Choice Award Winner.
Once you check out all the booths and get your hands on their awe-inspiring creations, place your vote for the People’s Choice Award. Students will receive $2,000. (1:30–2 p.m.)
3. Turn your kids into mad scientists.
Mad Science brings science straight to your kids with hands-on experiments and interactive demonstrations throughout the day. All sorts of things will be bubbling and brewing as friendly and knowledgeable instructors show off spectacular science suitable for elementary-age kids.
Two booths will feature “Fun with Polymers,” where kids can get their hands on making gooey slime, and the dry ice booth is certain to draw curious minds to learn about states of matter. And if the dry ice bubble shower doesn’t entice your family over to Mad Science, the smell of cotton candy will. Kids can also learn about the sweet science of making the fluffy confection at Imagine Cup Day.
4. Check out MOHAI with free admission.
Whether you love MOHAI, or you’ve never been, you'll find exhibits to fascinate you. Kids can hand crank iconic Seattle artifacts, “hammer” railroad spikes to simulate the transcontinental railroad project and get a 360-degree view of Lake Union through a periscope from a World War II–era submarine. There’s even an entire exhibition dedicated to chocolate. That’s right: chocolate. (through Sept. 28).
5. Make a difference in a child’s life with school supply donations.
Bring extra school supplies along to Imagine Cup Day to donate to the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County, which serves more than 17,000 youth in the Seattle area. Your donation will help a boy or girl kick off the school year with a smile.
6. Rock out with family concerts by D20 Brass Band and the School of Rock.
D20 Brass Band brings “nerd funk” to MOHAI for Imagine Cup Day. An ensemble of trumpets, trombones, tubas, and percussion instruments that can often be heard on the streets of downtown Seattle, D20 Brass Band delivers the funky beats on some of your family’s favorite music from video games, movies, and more. (noon–1 p.m.)
The School of Rock will also be echoing down the halls as they belt out their style of family rock at the museum. (10:30–11:30 a.m.)
7. Catch Seattle’s best dance crew, the Massive Monkees, in action.
The Massive Monkees is a champion breakdancing crew of more than 20 dancers based in the International District of Seattle. The group works with kids as young as 2 years old in family-friendly environments to teach them their first dance moves, the history of hip-hop and more. Seattleites can often find the Massive Monkees showing off their jaw-dropping tricks and moves at events across the city, and this is your chance to see them in person at MOHAI. (1-1:30 p.m.)
8. High-five Blitz, the Seattle Seahawks mascot.
If you haven’t stopped doing a victory dance since the Seahawks Super Bowl win, this is your chance to keep celebrating. Blitz, the official mascot of the Seahawks, is stopping by MOHAI to pose for pictures, sign an autograph or two, and check out the Imagine Cup competition — which is just as intense as any football game. (10:30–11:30 a.m.)
If you go...
When: Saturday, August 2, 2014, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Where: Museum of History & Industry, 860 Terry Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109
Cost: Free, including all-day museum admission
Parking and travel tips: See MOHAI's Visit Us page for tips on where to park and how to arrive by transit (highly recommended). The South Lake Union Streetcar stops right in front of MOHAI. You could also park elsewhere along Westlake Ave. and bike to MOHAI.