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October 18, 2020

Fresh Food Innovation Camp

Junior Achievement USVI piloted a new offering called the Fresh Food Innovation Camp and demonstrated a novel approach to growing AI literacy and building problem solving skills in high school level participants. Their confidence to analyze the challenges of ensuring fresh food safety in supermarkets and to develop plausible technology-driven approaches to address these challenges was demonstrated in the “Pitch to Judges” event conducted on the last day of the Camp. Observations and evaluations also demonstrate a process that allowed participants to improve critical thinking, teamwork and public speaking skills.

Twelve participants were organized into three business teams. Each team was required to carve out a challenge area related to fresh fruits, vegetables, fish or meat. As participants learned about the basics of artificial intelligence and the various ways it could be used to solve problems, they brainstormed differentiating technology approaches for their companies.

The winning pitch was an idea called "The GM Detector" that consisted of a conveyor belt, spectral scanner, and wash station. Supermarkets use the Detector to screen fruits
before making them available to customers. Runner-up and overall Camp Winner was a consumer-focused mobile app called "Eat Fresh" that allowed customers to scan produce and automatically assess the level of freshness and length of time before spoilage.

Pitch leader for Eat Fresh, DeMario Obeius, also demonstrated tremendous leadership enabling his team to effectively engage both online & offline.