The BCIT School of Business + Media hosted its annual Student Innovation Design and Technology Showcase on December 8 at the BCIT Burnaby Campus. The showcase highlights innovative projects by students in the BCIT Digital Design and Development (D3) and the BCIT Full Stack Web Development (FSWD) programs – where students build on the skills they learned throughout their program to spearhead digital solutions.
The theme for this year’s showcase centered on leveraging AI to address the digital challenges faced by underrepresented communities. BCIT Program Heads Henry Leung and Sam Meech-Ward guided 80 students in the completion of their three-month project. The students were challenged to come up with creative, practical digital solutions through in-depth iterative processes, research, design, programming, and prototyping.
Using AI to re-imagine a financial budgeting application
Over 300 people, including faculty, students, alumni, and industry leaders, attended the showcase to learn about the projects of the BCIT students. The opening address featured Mayor Mike Hurley of the City of Burnaby, Deputy Mayor Lenny Zhou of the City of Vancouver, and BCIT President Dr. Jeff Zabudsky. Burnaby City Councillor Richard T. Lee also attended the event, and Kenton Low, Dean, School of Business + Media, served as the emcee.
Going against nine other teams, BCIT students Giovana Birck, Kaitlyn Cameron, Hayden Leung, Jenny McMahon, Joey Nip, Corey Rutt, Sara Shiojima-Ali, Jacob Skilling, and Justin Wu won first place for their project Moneyment. Knowing that financial knowledge is often a barrier for young people, the winning team used AI to reimagine how a financial budgeting application could help young people better understand their finances and manage spending decisions.
Other projects showcased included solutions to aid with visual impairment, supporting mental wellness, addressing food insecurity, neurodivergence, financial and employment insecurity, global natural disaster crises, and more.
“I’m always so amazed at the innovation, the creativity, and the forward-looking nature of BCIT students,” said Dr. Jeff Zabudsky. “It’s very special that this focus around new technology and artificial intelligence is actually about helping people and demonstrating how social benefits can accrue from the deployment of new technology such as this.”
City of Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley also recognized BCIT students for the meaningful impact that they have made through their innovation and talent. “It is a true showcase of the bright future that lies ahead for our community and for these exceptional students.” Mayor Hurley added, “Burnaby is fortunate to have institutes like BCIT play a pivotal role in shaping the future of our city and beyond.”
In looking ahead to opportunities for BCIT students to work in solving real-world challenges, City of Vancouver Deputy Mayor Lenny Zhou said, “I’m looking forward to collaborating with BCIT, and everyone here today, in working together to bring more AI applications to the City of Vancouver to enhance city operations and efficiency.”
Get employed in an in-demand field
According to the Labour Market Outlook report, many jobs are expected to be created as AI technologies boost economic growth and labour productivity. Investing in in-demand skills for job opportunities created as a result of these technological advances have never been more crucial.
Web development, for example, is projected to have a high growth in BC and beyond in the next decade. Web developers are employed across multiple industries throughout the private and public sectors, or they may be self-employed. The Full-Stack Web Development (FSWD) Diploma program features an interdisciplinary learning environment to prepare learners for a career as a web developer.
For those interested in digital design, the Digital Design and Development program builds a solid foundation in designing, developing, and marketing interactive, dynamic, immersive social and online applications across various digital media platforms. Upon graduation, many work in user interface and usability design, frontend engineering, content design, web and mobile developments with technology companies, digital media production studios, advertising and design firms, and any industry that needs digital technological presence and expertise.