Bloomington student earns Minnesota Scholar of Distinction award

Published on Jun 27, 2024
Picture of Jenny Wen

Jenny Wen

Jefferson junior Jenny Wen is among 11 high school students honored with a Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Scholars of Distinction award.

"I'm thrilled that I was recognized by the state. Its biggest impact was motivating me to keep pursuing my interests," Wen said.

Wen earned the award in the computer science category for her project, “The Development of Generative Artificial Intelligence Supported Non-Playable Characters.” Wen’s project uses AI to generate dialogue responses for video game characters that players interact with, instead of having that dialogue be pre-scripted.

“I've explored game design quite a bit, and it’s a very tedious and time-consuming thing. I wanted to make a tool that will relieve some of that pressure, especially for smaller developers,” Wen said.

The award program encourages students to come up with projects where they think critically and creatively about academic and social issues, and how they can make a difference in subjects like computer science, social studies or STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). This aligns with our district’s mission as Minnesota’s leader in K-12 computer science education, providing an environment where high school students can apply their computer science skills to solve real-world problems.

The students were honored during a virtual award ceremony June 20.