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Students Pitch Ideas for Sustainable Development at Annual goIT Event

Students Pitch Ideas for Sustainable Development at Annual goIT Event

Published 06-06-24

Submitted by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

A group of students posed on a stage with project boards.

More than 225 grade 4 to 8 students from across the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) recently took part in an entrepreneurial showcase featuring pitches with purpose. The event, hosted by Tata Consultancy Services’ (TCS’) Go Innovate Together (goIT) program, gave the students the opportunity to present their potentially winning ideas as individuals or teams. In all, they presented 68 ideas for digital innovations that do everything from providing mental health support to saving the world. goIT is TCS’ flagship innovation and career readiness program centered, in large part, on global citizenship and the U.N.’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“We’re thrilled that TDSB’s goIT journey has become such a strong community staple in the Greater Toronto Area,” said John DiChiara, global head of goIT, TCS. “Participating expands students’ understanding of computer science concepts, provides them with opportunities to advance their design and presentation skills and, most importantly, helps them discover new capabilities and self-confidence.”

Miya L., a grade 8 student from Zion Heights Middle School, agrees. Miya is an aspiring poet and one of three creators of the concept “DivEarth Edu.” It’s an app that would expand people’s cultural competence with the expectation that the inter-cultural understanding it would establish will help reduce discrimination. In designing the concept with her team and learning about the SDGs through goIT, Miya realized she can use her tech together with her poetry to become an agent of change. Fellow team member Somyung H. walked away eager to learn more about what technology can do to make the world a better place and another team member, Ella L., came out of the program excited about her future career in tech. Following her positive experiences with the program, he signed up for extra-curricular coding classes, ranging from HTML to Python.

A group of students and presenters on a stage.

The showcase, which took place at Toronto’s Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, was the culmination of TDSB’s year-long goIT effort with between 2,000 and 3,000 participating students. Four winning innovations emerged from the competition:

Junior-Level Finalists:

  • 1st place: Wellbeing Wonders
    • Wellbeing Wonders, a gamified approach to learning about traditional Indigenous People’s medicine practices, was conceived by Crestview Public School’s Jane Y., Rosha H, Olivia A., Kushvita N, and Avin A. It would offer all people the opportunity to learn about Indigenous wellness practices and about the use of medicines like cedar and sage in both formal and informal healthcare settings.
  • 2nd place: GHW
    • Clair E., Hazel R., and Erin L., students from Regal Road Junior Public School, created GHW, Good Health and Wellness, with the goal of raising awareness about various health topics and helping those who are underserved more easily access essential care and medicine.

Senior-Level Finalists

  • 1st place: ResQRadar
    • Designed and invented by Ruby S. and Marlee S. from Cedarvale Community School, ResQRadar would fight human trafficking through education and resources, and support social media safety by educating people about what they should be aware of when talking to strangers online. Its features would include the ability to detect potential predators and fake profiles.
  • 2nd Place: Little by Little
    • Created by Grace B. and Marlee S. from Cedarvale Community School, Little by Little is a gamified learning program that focuses on two SDGs: Zero Hunger and Responsible Consumption and Production. It enables users to donate, shop, and learn about these issues through sorting games and fun facts.

Winners earned certificates, medals, and accolades and enjoyed the opportunity to be coached and mentored on the spot by volunteer judges hailing from TCS, as well as at least one local customer representative.

The TDSB and TCS have partnered to enhance students’ capacity for design thinking and to teach them about global citizenship since 2014. As a digital innovation and career readiness program, goIT’s contribution to the relationship is providing TDSB teachers with program training, computer-science learning pathways, and exciting competitions to engage in with students. TDSB provides its students with a fully supported goIT program through its eager audience of educators and its more than 300 Digital Lead Learners who ensure program success by building teacher capacity for STEM learning and technology education. Motivated by a strong desire to see students poised for success in the future workforce, the partners work to ensure excellence in the experience.

Teachers or school systems interested in working with goIT in Canada or the U.S. can reach out to— or sign up for updates by visiting the goIT North America homepage and clicking “Join Us.”

A group of students and presenters on a stage.

About TCS’ goIT Digital Innovation and Career Readiness Program 
TCS’s Go Innovate Together program (goIT) is TCS’ flagship STEM education program. Focusing on digital innovation and career readiness, goIT engages students from diverse backgrounds with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects and computer science, design thinking and digital innovation. The program offers an industry-developed, customizable curriculum that teaches students the 21st century skills necessary for a career in technology. Lessons cover topics including design thinking, rapid prototyping, artificial intelligence, machine learning and more.

Since the launch of the goIT Monthly Challenge in 2020, thousands of students across the globe have used key principles from goIT to design tech-based solutions and submit pitch videos based on a Monthly Challenge theme. Each month, TCS co-hosts the event with a Sustainable Development Goal ambassador, globally minded nonprofit or a TCS client. The Challenge has engaged a growing number of teachers and students every month, exploring topics ranging from gender equality and systemic racism to protecting life under water.

Visit the goIT Monthly Challenge competition website to learn how to enter — or get your students involved — with this or upcoming challenges:

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Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

Tata Consultancy Services is an IT services, consulting and business solutions organization that has been partnering with many of the world’s largest businesses in their transformation journeys for over 56 years. Its consulting-led, cognitive powered, portfolio of business, technology and engineering services and solutions is delivered through its unique Location Independent Agile™ delivery model, recognized as a benchmark of excellence in software development.

A part of the Tata group, India's largest multinational business group, TCS has over 601,000 of the world’s best-trained consultants in 55 countries. The company generated consolidated revenues of US $29 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2024, and is listed on the BSE and the NSE in India. TCS' proactive stance on climate change and award-winning work with communities across the world have earned it a place in leading sustainability indices such as the MSCI Global Sustainability Index and the FTSE4Good Emerging Index. For more information, visit

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