By Febronia Hanna
From a middle school in Nablus that has modest resources with two students at each computer. In their IT class, these Palestinian teammates first heard about the “Silicon Valley” competition and are now heading to California to pitch their app.
To them, the 11th graders from Palestinian West Bank, being able to travel for the finals is a huge leap. It’s their first time ever on a plane and the competition has been like a compass that told them where they are heading with their lives. Before that the 11th graders didn’t know what they wanted in life.
Each team was supposed to create an app that can solve a problem in their society. Twelve teams made it to the finals of the “Technovation Challenge” in San Jose, California.
Their application tackled the problem of fire prevention. They made a VR game called “Be a Fire Fighter” that teaches fire prevention skills. This is particularly important for the residents of some Palestinian territories such as those living by the Gaza strip. They suffer from longtime power cuts which makes them use candles and other potential fire hazard materials.