Tata Consultancy Services and Discovery Education May 24 announced the winners of the TCS Ignite Innovation Student Challenge.

Ryan H., 11, from The Pegasus School in Huntington Beach, Calif., will receive a $10,000 Grand Prize and virtual mentorship from TCS technology experts (only first names were used in the press release). Ryan's invention, titled Early Wildfire Detection Network, enables firefighters to activate an app on their cellphone using a low-cost wireless field module.

In addition to the Grand Prize, nine other student winners have been selected to receive prizes. Winners of the Ignite Innovation Student Challenge Pillar Prizes, for 'Planet, Health and Education,' will receive $7,500; and six $1,000 Winner Circle Prizes will be awarded to the remaining students. Submissions were judged based on creativity, content, persuasiveness, and overall presentation.

"TCS is dedicated to preparing a new generation of young leaders whose innovations will one day transform society. We are extremely proud of the challenge winners for applying their computational thinking skills to solve some of the most pressing challenges facing our communities," said Balaji Ganapathy, head, workforce effectiveness of TCS. "These students exemplify the pioneering spirit, skillset and mindset essential to thrive in a Business 4.0 world."

Among the winners include the Ignite Innovation Student Challenge Top 'Planet, Health and Education' Pillar winners. Those include: Shraman K., a 12-year-old from Meyzeek Middle School in Louisville, Ky. has been named the Top Our Planet Pillar winner for his invention titled Mobile App Foodle. Shraman created a software platform to provide accessible food to homeless people.

Gitanjali R., an 11-year-old from STEM School Highland Ranch in Highlands Ranch, Colo. has been named the Top Health Pillar Winner for the invention titled Early Diagnosis of Opioid Addiction. The Indian American student created a kit that would arm physicians with an easy diagnostic tool to identify patients who are on the verge of addiction.

They both won $7,500 and virtual mentorship from a team of TCS technology experts.

"Discovery Education is proud to join forces with TCS to help students and educators revolutionize their learning experiences and prepare them with the tools needed to reimagine learning in classrooms," said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Discovery Education. "Together, we are strengthening computational thinking skills and challenging students to think of STEM as a way to help education, health and our environment."

Winners of the $1,000 Ignite Innovation Student Challenge Winner's Circle include Krish L., a 13-year-old from Emil A. Cavallini Middle School in Upper Saddle River, N.J., who has been named a Winner's Circle awardee for her project titled SafeSpaceVR. Krish used Virtual Reality to treat anxiety in teenagers with fun, low cost and easy methods; Nasr M. and Nikhil J., 14-year-olds from Vista Del Sur Traditional School in Laveen, Ariz., has been named a Winner's Circle awardee for his Trash Coin project. Nasr and Nikhil created a way for people to earn money while helping the environment.

The TCS Ignite Innovation Student Challenge encouraged students ages 11-14 to use computational thinking to create digital solutions that solve problems and improve the world. Utilizing TCS' social responsibility pillars of 'Planet, Health and Education,' middle school students from across the country, in teams up to four, were invited to craft a digital concept and submit entries by creating a written description or a one to two-minute video.

Launched in 2017, Ignite My Future in School is an initiative that combines the best of digital content, lesson plans, career vignettes, and professional learning to help teachers prepare their students for careers of the future.

The initiative offers educators instructional resources and year-round curriculum support to ensure that computational thinking is embedded into core subjects such as math, sciences, arts and social studies. This interdisciplinary approach helps students to obtain the necessary skills required for 21st century careers across all industries.

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