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Team Extraplaid from Utah State University got pumped by listening to Led Zeppelin before its presentation. Standing from left are Josh Light, Susanna Beck, Yiding Han and Cal Coopmans. (Microsoft)
Team Extraplaid from Utah State University got pumped by listening to Led Zeppelin before its presentation. Standing from left are Josh Light, Susanna Beck, Yiding Han and Cal Coopmans. (Microsoft)

Oscar winning director and the mastermind of Avatar, James Cameron inspires dozens of young innovators during a visit to Washington DC.

By Angie Goff

Christina Fries, Tianlu Zhang, Christina Chang and Cameron Solomon of Team Fortran C from UCLA show their game to James Cameron

Christina Fries, Tianlu Zhang, Christina Chang and Cameron Solomon of Team Fortran C from UCLA show their game to James Cameron

From taking the segway tour to showcasing their tech creations 80 students from colleges nationwide brought their best to Washington for Microsoft’s Imagine Cup Finals.

The Newseum served as the nucleus for the annual innovation competition that drew visits from Microsoft brass and Oscar winning director James Cameron.

Cameron praised the students for their efforts to meet the United Nations’ Millenium Development Goals with their projects. He talked about how the world needs more of them, young innovators and engineers. Cameron noted most of the team behind ‘Avatar’ were younger than 25.

22,000 entries later on winner was chosen by a team of expert panelists. UC Davis

Team Extraplaid from Utah State University got pumped by listening to Led Zeppelin before its presentation. Standing from left are Josh Light, Susanna Beck, Yiding Han and Cal Coopmans. (Microsoft)

Team Extraplaid from Utah State University got pumped by listening to Led Zeppelin before its presentation. Standing from left are Josh Light, Susanna Beck, Yiding Han and Cal Coopmans. (Microsoft)

won with Team Mobilife. The group designed mobile technology that allows doctors to detcet early vasuclar disease in children in developing regions of the world.

The winning team will head to Poland this Summer to compete in the World Imagine Cup.

Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates hopes this is the year for the United States. No American team has ever won on the international level.

If they don’t… it doesn’t appear the big boss will be too disappointed. The contest goes far beyond bringing the top tech prize home.

On Microsoft’s website Gates who was not in DC for the event summed the cup all up,  “it’s a reminder of the importance of exposing young people to technology in the classroom early on and encouraging them to develop the technology skills needed in so many different careers.”

About the writer: Angie Goff covers traffic, entertainment and social media for WUSA-TV Channel 9 in Washington DC. Her blog Oh My Goff is also a daily TV segment that shares local buzz as reported by people in the community via social media sites like Facebook and Twitter

james cameron

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