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TCS and DIG bring goIT app design and IoT to Rural South Carolina

Councilmembers, business leaders, educators, and parents united in Williston, South Carolina on May 1 for an event that showcased the STEM talents of local students.

The second annual Tata Consultancy Services goIT App Development and Internet of Things Challenge was held Saturday, May 1 at First Baptist Church of Williston Gymnasium. TCS’ goIT program was hosted by the Dreams, Imagination, and Gift (DIG) Development Program in partnership with GE Power & Gas. Elementary and middle schools were represented by Williston, Allendale, and Barnwell.

“Our goal is to bridge the gap between larger areas and rural communities while building a bridge to rural communities.  These relationships one day will lead to future careers for our students at these companies ,said Steven D.K. Brown, a Williston native who founded DIG, a program that focuses on the rural counties in South Carolina to help motivate children to achieve long-term goals for their future. 

For the second consecutive goIT program with DIG, students again participated in the goIT app design program. This year, DIG was also a pilot partner for the new Internet of Things (IoT) technology pathway created in partnership with the TCS Lab Team in Cincinnati, OH.  IoT is a technology pathway that introduces students to how devices measure, analyze, and share data with each other. Students learned how to design an IoT prototype using two microcontroller boards and craft materials. Using skills such as collaboration, empathy, and problem-solving, students created prototypes to solve a local community problem.  

“Projects like these encourage our students to become innovators, problem solvers, and provides an introduction to future careers in IT, all while encouraging our students to help their community,” said. Brown. 

Kicking off the event were guest speakers Nikhil Laghate, Business Relationship Manager at TCS, Valerie Johnson, Senior Manager at GE; South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson; and James Olender, CIO of GE Gas and Power.

The competition was judged by a panel of three distinguished judges, Jeremiah Land, Pastor of Press Church, William Toney, Williston Town Councilman and,  Cedric Collins, local Williston IT Specialist. The judges chose the following teams as the winners of the first goIT IoT App Contest: 

1st Place IOT: "My Little World" from Allendale Middle. This team built a device to help with mental health challenges from bullying or self-esteem issues.  The device was a pair of virtual reality goggles with hand and foot sensors that detect movement and proximity.  A user could log into the virtual world via avatar to meet friends, work out, and hear positive messages that boost self-esteem. The app is designed to encourage the user and motivate them.

2nd Place IOT: "Insta Check" created by  Williston Middle School students. This team built a prototype of two devices that use voice recognition and temperature sensors to check your temperature and record the data for tracking those who might have COVID-19 and to determine if someone can enter the building.

1st Place App Design: "SWAT" from  Williston-Elko Elementary. This team designed an app utilizing drone footage to track where there is a significant amount of litter on the roads. The app will alert the local town hall and volunteers with a GPS location of where to go and pick up trash.

One of the other apps that particularly impressed the judges was "Business Brothers" from a team from Allendale MS.  These students built a product and clothing vending machine for the homeless.  The vending machine is free with partners from Target and Walmart.  Homeless individuals will be issued a code that tracks how often they use the machine. 

TCS and DIG are excited to continue to foster STEAM education in South Carolina in communities and schools.  If you’re interested in bringing goIT’s IoT program to your school, reach out to Christine.mackin@tcs.com