Our Imagine Cup World Finalists are coming from dozens of countries around the world to Seattle, bringing with them their laptops and their robots and their gadgets and their hopes.
Tuesday, July 29th: Students arrive for their briefings to prepare for the week ahead. We end the day with a welcome reception at the University of Washington.
Wednesday, July 30th: Our first day of competition begins with live presentations. Each team has ten minutes to present their project to a panel of judges, followed by ten minutes of questions and answers. When we're done, all the teams travel to Microsoft global headquarters and set up a showcase of their projects for thousands of Microsoft staff to come see firsthand.
Thursday, July 31st: Our second day of competition takes place at Microsoft and consists of hands-on judging. Each judge spends fifteen minutes with each team, trying out their project directly and having an informal conversation about their work. At the end of the judging we have another showcase for Microsoft staff to come see. Then that evening is our Partner Awards dinner where we'll give out prizes for the Facebook Creativity Award, the AppCampus Award, the Apps for Office Challenge, and the Windows & Windows Phone Challenge.
Friday, August 1st: Bright and early, we all head down to the Washington State Convention Center for the Imagine Cup World Championships. We'll award prizes to the first, second, and third place teams in the Games, Innovation, and World Citizenship categories. And then the three first-place teams will compete live onstage to see who takes home the overall Imagine Cup trophy and gets a private meeting with Bill Gates. That afternoon, our student teams will participate in the Amazing Seattle Race! Equipped with GPS devices, students will carry out a scavenger hunt across downtown Seattle culminating at the Space Needle. And that evening we'll have a big celebration for our students at the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum.
Saturday, August 2nd: On our last day together, we have one more showcase: Imagine Cup Day at the Museum of History & Industry. At this free public event, the museum is open to everyone and our students will show off their projects to the citizens of Seattle. We'll have lots to do for families including breakdancers, live music, mad science projects, and free treats. And we'll end the day with our students attending Seattle's Seafair celebration with fireworks, live music, and an evening air show over Lake Washington.