In case you missed it, yesterday afternoon at #DellWorld we announced Project Abby as the winner of the Dell Education Challenge, a global competition for university students with entrepreneurial ideas to improve education, both in and out of the classroom. The three finalist teams traveled to Austin to pitch their projects to a panel of judges and the winner was announced during Dell World and I'm so proud of each of them.
The competition received more than 800 project entries up from 400 the previous year from university students from around the world. Students competed for $30,000 in prizes.
Project Abby is a set of devices created to provide effective learning and communication for kids with autism by diminishing their attention barrier, helping them learn in a way that really works for them. A six-person team from Monterrey Institute of Technology in Mexico aims to help the autism community by providing an affordable way for children with autism to learn and communicate effectively through the use of triggering stimuli such as light, sound, and vibration. Their devices (including a small vibration cube, a small illumination cube, and an illumination table) release light, sound, and vibration stimuli customized to the personality, interests, and skills of each child to capture their attention and create a comfortable space where they can learn and communicate. Techniques from Applied Behavioral Analysis are integrated into the creation and use of these devices to optimize the user experience for autistic children, teachers, and caregivers.
More in last week's blog post about the three amazing finalists Arturo Hernandez Martinez, the Founder of Project Abby told me "We´re happy that we are so close to helping this community that is currently unattended. And the fact that Dell believes in us gives us confidence to know that we can get there. This is a statement about how important are the lives of these people. They don't have to feel like they are alone. We are listening and we want to help." -Arturo Hernandez Martinez.