Comcast Innovation Challenge is Back, and Students Are Ready to Hack

 In #TAFPartners, #TAFSchools

Comcast NBCUniversal Innovation Challenge (CIC) returns to TAF@Saghalie for its fourth consecutive year, providing five groups of 9th-12th-grade Federal Way Public Schools students the chance to “hack” a telecommunications challenge with the help of dedicated industry volunteer mentors. 

The Comcast Innovation Challenge was developed in partnership between Comcast NBCUniversal and TAF in 2018 to provide students an opportunity to ideate and innovate with technology outside of the classroom while solving real-world problems. Last year, students had to quickly pivot and present their projects in the challenge’s first virtual showcase. This year, students will be working virtually in groups and with industry expert mentors to develop an online presence for a theme park. Additionally, students have the pleasure of working with an expanded network of professionals with expert mentors from Comcast and Oracle, Amazon, Qualtrics, and ByteDance, among other local tech companies.

The driving question this year is, “How do you develop an online presence through a virtual environment?” Students will need to learn and incorporate newly acquired skills in HTML, CSS, and UX/UI Design to build visually appealing websites to market their theme parks and formally present their ideas on a YouTube Premiere broadcast. Comcast and TAF community members will then judge each presentation to cast their votes for the winning team. The challenge will not only improve students’ skills in coding but also soft skills like communication and collaboration, which are vital skills to navigating today’s working world.

“Students are working hard on building out their multi-page websites.” shared Dylan Withrow, TAF Teacher Scientist Partnership Program Coordinator, who has provided challenge support. “They are enjoying the freedom and fun that comes with building their very own websites from scratch.”

Each member from this year’s winning team will receive a $1,000 college scholarship, laptop, and an additional grand prize to be announced. Make sure to tune into the final Comcast NBCUniversal Innovation Challenge presentations, which will premiere on TAF’s YouTube channel on June 16th, 2021 at 12 PM PST. 

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