It was a week of just downing knowledge left, right and center, and figuring out a solution that would change lives…

Acorn Aspirations
3 min readAug 31, 2020


Ludovico (15), UK


When I received the first assignment of the Problem Solving Course, I knew that this was the real deal. It was exactly what I had hoped for: complex yet engaging. That was the start of the first week, a week where my brain almost exploded. In the space of 5 days, with the help of the amazing course leaders, I managed to learn things I couldn’t possibly have learned on my own.

I learned new mathematics, ML techniques, and software engineering. It was a week of just downing knowledge left, right and center and it helped unleash a passion for computer science and machine learning, especially how it can be used for positive social impact.

That passion was fueled at the very start of Week 2. As I got to know my team, we decided we had to address the problem of demotivation during online education. I knew this was a problem from my own experience, and my team and I believed it was one we had to solve. The first week went swimmingly. We discovered a problem, took surveys to confirm it was a problem, did interviews and built the prototype. It was hard work but we managed it.

It was a brilliant first week of design thinking, and it really helped me understand that when building a product, it is of the utmost importance that one makes sure the product isn’t just a cool idea to its creator but that it is an idea that really helps people, and is simple.

The second week was chaotic but one of most exhilarating weeks of my life. The countdown to the pitch was very loudly ticking and my stress levels were through the roof. I am a decent coder, but nothing special, so I had to really make sure that I didn’t leave the coding to the last minute.

Everything was going according to plan until one unfortunate Thursday morning. I describe it as unfortunate but in fact it was very fortunate. A mentor talked to us and told it to us straight: Our idea was too complex.

So we pivoted.

I, along with the team, was on the verge of crying when we heard his comments but I was thankful. He had saved us from the judges decimating it on a live stream.

We had 48 hours to pivot. Although we had the design thinking aspect sorted, because our pivot was not so large, it was honestly the most nerve-wracking thing I have ever experienced. We had to make the business plan, the pitching deck, as well as make a new prototype and test it with users. In the end, after two long nights, we did it and we pitched.

Although my hand is now in some pain after slamming it into my table when my internet crashed twice during the pitch, I think we had a good idea and I really hope we can continue with it. All I can say now is thank you for the wonderful opportunity this program has given me and frankly thank god I applied to the TeensInAI Accelerator.

It has changed my life.


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Acorn Aspirations

Powering the Next Generation of Thought Leaders, Innovators and Technologists in #AI @teensinai #TeensInAI #GirlsinAI #MCStartup2016 Founder @elenasinel