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Oracle OpenWorld 2019

| Kelly Hill | khill20@dechhs.org | September 24, 2019 |

Although Monday was a day off from school for most d.tech students, a select few made their way to downtown San Francisco to attend Oracle OpenWorld, a global conference for business leaders from all over the country. These students dedicated countless hours of work through intersession classes offered by the Oracle Education Foundation and meetings over the summer to develop their projects with the goal of presenting at OpenWorld. Upon arrival at the conference on Monday morning, students began presenting their projects to attendees, reporters, and interviewers. 

(left- right) Sophomores Maddie Hsu, Kasvi Singh, and Kayla Lumbre talking about Haptic Directions at OpenWorld. Photo by Max Hofelmann

These projects, ranging from educational games to injury detection equipment, displayed the passion to create change instilled in d.tech students. For example, “Haptic Directions,” the product of sophomores Kasvi Singh, Kayla Lumbre, and Maddie Hsu hard work, is a “portable, compact device giving turn-by-turn directions through a series of vibrations.” The group dedicated hours over the summer to develop their project in addition to participating in several OEF intersession classes.

Seniors Ian O’Haire and Kevin Lynch and sophomore Genevieve Crouch created “Pitchimo,” a “smart compression sleeve that alerts baseball pitchers and trainers to potential problems before a repetitive motion injury occurs.” Muscle sensors and an inertial measurement unit are embedded in Pitchimo, monitoring fatigue, body movement, and the force of throws. The team started working on their pitching sleeve in March 2019 and “worked almost every week to get it in shape,” says Ian O’Haire.

“Branch,” another project brought to OpenWorld, is a “seamless solution for teachers and faculty to implement emergency response protocols, classroom controls, facilities management, and student information services with the touch of a button, all on a simple digital dashboard.” Juniors Aiden Appleby and Jackson Lawrence worked hard through intersession classes and over the summer to code and design a physical classroom model that was utilized in the demonstrations of “Branch” at OpenWorld. 

As a student attendee myself, I worked with seniors Lian Bensaadon and Julia Lederman, as well as junior Ellie Fulkerson to develop “Journey of a Cancer Cell”, a computer game following a cancer cell as it develops and travels throughout the human body. The game, consisting of information slides and three mini levels, aimed to educate children about cancer in simple ways, demystifying the complex scientific definitions and descriptions given to them.

The students’ perspectives on the experience of presenting at Oracle OpenWorld were overwhelmingly positive. Singh discussed her passion for the STEM field and the “once in a lifetime, incredible experience” that OpenWorld offered, allowing her to “get a first-hand experience of what [she] wants to do in the future.” Additionally, OpenWorld allowed students to get feedback on their projects and meet professionals willing to help develop their projects further. Senior Julia Lederman mentioned that a CEO of an east-coast company wanted to help connect her group, “Journey of a Cancer Cell,” to a Philadelphia children’s hospital to help develop and distribute the game. Kevin Lynch, also a senior, gained experience “presenting to adults and business people about how [their] project worked.” He also recognizes that it challenged his group to “respond to questions and take criticism,” both vital skills for the future. For many of the students at OpenWorld, “seeing [their] projects displayed was very rewarding; all of the work that had gone into them was finally being recognized.”

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