In November and December 2020, The U.S. Department of State hosted Virtual TechCamp West Bank with implementing partner AMIDEAST. As an important component of the program’s continued engagement, alumni at many TechCamps are given the opportunity to apply for small grant funding that helps them to move the initiatives generated at TechCamp into action and further disseminate the digital skills learned at the event to others in their communities.
After a rigorous review process, five winning proposals were selected to receive funding of up to $5,000 USD:
- Jusoor – This Palestinian project consists of an interactive educational platform that offers science learning games for students in high school and universities. Jusoor plans to use Small Grant funding to further develop their website programming to improve the interactivity of the website. By increasing accessibility to STEM-focused materials, Jusoor also hopes to increase gender equality and job opportunities for women in its target region.
- Smart Stick – Based in Ramallah, Palestine, Smart Stick’s goal is to construct a technologically advanced cane for the blind and visually impaired to increase their independence in daily life. Not only will the Smart Stick improve the user’s ability to move around freely, it will also provide psychological benefits such as increased confidence and self-reliance.
- Smart Educational Tool – When it comes to online learning, teachers often carry a heavy burden. Inspired by the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, this Palestinian project aims to create an AI-based assistant that will reduce technological challenges and improve communication between teaches and students.
- My Star – Based in Palestine, My Star aims to improve children’s learning ability through an entertaining-yet-effective educational platform. The platform will utilize interactive games and persuasive technology such as “Play to Learn” to keep kids engaged in their learning. My Star hopes to collaborate with the Palestinian Ministry of Education to maximize accessibility and reliability of the technology.
- Helpion: An App for Exchanging Opinions – Developed by two computer science students from Ramallah, Palestine, Helpion aims to make an app that connects users for recommendations and opinions on everything from cooking tips to choosing gifts. The app will harness the skills of Palestinian software developers to produce an international app that also benefits the local economy.
Congratulations to the winners for their innovative and inspiring proposals. The organizers and your fellow alumni look forward to following your progress!