Excerpt of Liz Dwyre’s article:

How do we connect people who could save time and money by carpooling together? Can we diagnose malaria with a smartphone? Those problems—and a host of other environmental, health, accessibility, and education issues—are being tackled by 124 international teams of socially conscious, entrepreneurially-oriented high school and college students as part of Microsoft’s upcoming annual Imagine Cup.

The finalist teams, competing in New York in July, beat out 350,000 entrants from 183 countries. Looking through the brief descriptions of their projects over at the Imagine Cup blog, it’s hard to believe that students as young as 16 are using technology in such innovative, creative ways. Here are five Imagine Cup finalists that immediately stand out as inspiring examples of how technology can solve the world’s toughest problems.

“Lifelens, University of California Los Angeles Anderson School of Business, University of California Davis, Harvard Business School, University of Central Florida, United States: Lifelens, a collaboration between students from four schools, tackles child mortality due to the “lack of detection and availability of treatment of malarial diseases” all through a smartphone app. All a user has to do is snap a photo of a blood sample, and it can tell if someone has malaria. Easy, right?”

Good.is students changing the world.

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