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Team From Ukraine Wins Top Honors at Microsoft's Imagine Cup Finals

This is the VOA Special English Technology Report, from | than 350 students from 75 nations were in Sydney, Australia, last month for the Imagine Cup Finals. This is the 10th year Microsoft Corporation has organized the competition. Each year, the company invites students to use their love of technology to solve some of the world's most difficult problems. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard welcomed the competitors to Sydney and congratulated them. "We look forward to seeing the fruits of your creative work this week in years to come," she said. "The world does have tough problems. We are fortunate to have people like you who have a passion to solve them. Enjoy the Imagine Cup!" Microsoft's Dan'l Lewin also spoke at the opening ceremony. He said, "Programs like the Imagine Cup and the DreamSpark program that you've all participated in are the foundation upon which young entrepreneurs, students like yourselves with big dreams, can make a difference in the world." This year, more than 250 thousand students registered for the Imagine Cup. One hundred six teams were invited to the finals. Pip Marlow is with Microsoft Australia. She was especially pleased at the number of women competing.On July 10th, Microsoft announced the winning teams at its World Festival and Awards Ceremony. A team from the Ukraine won the Imagine Cup's top honor. The team's EnableTalk software program helps people who are totally or partially unable to hear. It changes sign language hand movements into speech. This is done using special gloves and a smartphone application, or app. The gloves capture the sign language hand movements and send them to a smartphone app. The app compares those images to stored hand language signs and plays the words represented by the signs. The quadSquad team will receive $25 thousand to develop its idea. A team from Drexel University in the United States won first place in the Game Design for Phone competition. The Drexel Dragons designed a game to help students better understand mathematics. And Team TANG Thai from Thailand was honored for a game that helps teach young people about the problem of deforestation.And that's the VOA Special English Technology Report. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our reports are at I'm Mario Ritter. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 16Jul2012)
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