June 30, 2017
JA and Nokia Team Up for the 2017 Global STEM Innovation Challenge
JA STEM Innovation Camps, in partnership with Nokia, are intensive one- or two-day science/technology/engineering/math experiences for secondary (high-school) students that develop their idea-generation and collaboration techniques. For 2017, five JA areas participated: Junior Achievement of New Jersey, Nuori Yrittäjyys / Ung Företagsamhet (JA Finland), JA Israel, Junior Achievement of Chicago, and Fundación Junior Achievement España (JA Spain).
JA collaborated with Nokia in each area or country to make the challenges as realistic as possible for that location, and through the camps, students arrived at innovative yet viable solutions for real-world problems. Local Nokia volunteers worked with students throughout the camp, which each resulted in 10 to 12 promising business solutions. The top student team from each area qualified to compete in the 2017 Nokia Global STEM Innovation Challenge online. Here are the five finalists:
- Sauna Lions (JA Finland): See photos of JA Finland's STEM Innovation Camp
- Nokia Solaris (JA Spain): See photos of JA Spain's STEM Innovation Camp
- High Clouds (JA Israel)
- Nokia Beyond (JA of New Jersey): See photos of JA of New Jersey's STEM Innovation Camp
- BB's (JA of Chicago)
Each team submitted a concept paper and presentation, which the Nokia jury reviewed before meeting with teams via video conferencing. The key criteria in evaluating teams were innovation and the future, as well as how well each team captured the idea, studied and researched, thought about the business case, and defined the real-world use cases.
The jury was impressed by the quality of student presentations. According to the Nokia jury statement, "At Nokia, we create the technology to connect the world. Reflecting the finalist ideas against Nokia’s goals today, Nokia jury appreciates all the effort that finalist teams from all over the world put into their proposals. Nokia jury was positively surprised about the quality of finalist ideas, and the professional approach during the online finals. Teams had prepared online presentations well, and all questions were answered. Very well done!"
When the dust had settled, Team Nokia Beyond from JA New Jersey was declared the winner of the 2017 Nokia Global STEM Innovation Challenge. According to the team's concept paper, the team's product is "a phone dock that converts a Nokia smartphone into a traditional desktop computer." The proposal continues: "Since the target consumer age range is from eighteen to twenty-five years old, the Nokia Beyond would cater to the needs of any college student or employee in today’s rigorous corporate workforce. The product would be useable for anybody that desires portability and could be used by those who would use a laptop in the workplace. As long as the product is kept as cheap as possible, young adults will desire it.
"This device allows the user to be productive at work, school, or home with their phone and Nokia Beyond dock as their primary tools. With the relatively low price of the device, especially compared to a modern desktop computer, financially stressed students and employees can buy the Beyond at an affordable price without compromising their productivity. Furthermore, the Nokia Beyond adds more functionality to smartphones and provides the consumer with just another creative way to effectively use their Nokia device." Read the rest of the team's concept paper (which gives a more detailed description, along with marketing plans, pricing, and implementation ideas) and view their presentation. Although Team Nokia Beyond won only by a small margin, Nokia jury were impressed both by the idea and by the team's research and innovation.
"Thank you to all finalists," said the Nokia jury statement. "Keep up the innovative spirit in the future!”