Booz Allen’s Creative Minds Strike Gold with Next Gen Solutions to Global Challenges

Aug 26, 2016 3:55 PM ET

It’s easy to surrender to mindless activities during the summer: lying on the beach, binging on Netflix. Booz Allen Summer Games interns, however, chose to take on challenges that will change the world.

While at Booz Allen this summer, the group of college students selected to participate in the firm’s competitive, innovation-based internship program developed solutions to major problems. Nearly 60 teams of interns across roughly a dozen cities tackled some of the biggest issues facing our society. They used virtual and augmented reality to help alleviate chronic pain; hacked and patched Amazon Echo; and came up with ideas to provide clean drinking water to natural disaster victims. (Check out more project examples in the 2016 recap video here.) In the end, the interns competed for the Summer Games Challenge Cup trophy; given to the group with the most innovative and impactful idea.

In addition to their core work on these major global challenges, Booz Allen interns spent 10 percent of their time participating in the Student Incubator Program, where they were challenged to develop a product or solution that solves a problem they are passionate about. The Student Incubator simulates real-world consulting work and gives interns the opportunity to be creative outside of their main duties.

Incubator projects ranged from Guardi, an emergency medical mobile app embedded in wearables that detect serious medical emergencies and alert medical services to WolfHunt, a smart surveillance system to assist security personnel in detecting potential “lone wolf” attackers and SaveSmart, a platform teachers and young students can use to understand the fundamentals of personal finance.

Ultimately, the Blind Navigation Project team took home this year’s Summer Games trophy. Their team combined sensors and geo-positioning data to develop a headset that helps the blind navigate independently. Booz Allen hopes to partner with the National Federation of the Blind to take this project to the next level, which in turn, could potentially give blind people the opportunity to lead more independent lives. (Read more about the project here.)

The 318 interns in this year’s program have made a lasting impact. A working prototype called “Walk-achu,” that uses hoverboard technology to help people with lower body paralysis to glide as if they are walking (see more about their project here) could one day be available to children with spina bifida. And a device that will help detect lead particles in drinking water, that go above the EPA’s action level limit of 15 ppb could prevent future water crises.

Think you have what it takes to be a Booz Allen Summer Games Intern? Learn more here.