The fourth annual Imagine Cup Junior for students is now live!

Today marks the launch of registration and content availability for the fourth annual Microsoft Imagine Cup Junior (ICJ) global student competition. ICJ is an exciting opportunity for students to learn about technology and how it can be used to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. ICJ provides an engaging learning opportunity supported by educators that covers a range of skills and is open to all students ages 13-18, regardless of their technical proficiency*.

Last year thousands of students participated in the challenge. The judges recognised 10 global winners who created incredible concepts to address Microsoft’s AI for Good initiatives.

In 2023, we are excited to see even more students participate in the challenge and learn the impact that technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and cybersecurity can have on the world.

What is Imagine Cup Junior?

The Microsoft Imagine Cup Junior is a global student competition for students ages 13-18. Through ICJ, educators utilise 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 received feedback from last year that some teams would like to build a prototype for their concept so this year we’re providing information to access Azure for Students where Team Leaders can add students to collaborate and create a prototype of their concept. Also new this year is a Minecraft: Education Edition lesson on ethical AI. This lesson provides educators and additional pathway to support student learning.

Imagine Cup Junior Registration

Participation in Imagine Cup Junior is via a Team Leader (such as an educator, instructor, parent, guardian— over the age of 18). The 2023 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:

  • Beginners Kit: includes six 45-minute Australian and New Zealand curriculum aligned lessons, student guides, submission template, judging criteria, and rubric 
  • Deep Learning Modules: in-depth overview of the six technology modules that supplement the Beginners 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.

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 in the classroom—based on the Deep Learning Modules—they form teams of one to six students. Each Team Leader should encourage student teams to apply the lessons and then 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 2023 competition must be uploaded to the Imagine Cup website by May 10, 2023. A panel of judges evaluates each team’s project based on Judging Criteria and Rubric.

The top ten teams will be announced on June 7, 2023, and receive trophies and prizes. 

How to get started with Imagine Cup Junior

  1. Register at www.imaginecup.com/junior.
  2. Download the Imagine Cup Junior Resource Pack.
  3. Incorporate the resources into class curriculum and lesson plans.
  4. Form student teams sized one to six, 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.
  5. Submit projects by May 10, 2023 via www.imaginecup.com/junior.
  6. Celebrate teams who are crowned global challenge winners, to be announced June 7, 2023 on the Microsoft Education Blog.

*Team 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 cannot wait to see what ideas students come up with this year to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges!