Tag Archives: STEM contest

NSF Sponsors Community College Innovation Challenge


Laboratory studentsTeams of community college students with a faculty mentor and a community or industry partner are encouraged to submit their proposals for innovative STEM-based solutions to real-world problems within one of the following themes: Bid Data, Infrastructure Security, Sustainability (including water, food, energy, environment), Broadening Participation in STEM, and Improving STEM Education. This challenge furthers NSF’s mission by encouraging students to discover and demonstrate their capacity to use science to make a difference in the world and to transfer knowledge into action.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recognizes the important role community colleges play in workforce development and the future of science research in the United States. Community colleges are a vital part of the scientific research pipeline, training technicians who become an integral part of research efforts and students who go on to continue their education at four-year institutions, especially in underrepresented groups.

Up to 10 finalist teams (2 from each theme) will be invited to attend the Innovation Boot Camp, a professional development workshop on innovation and entrepreneurship. Each team will receive $500 to further refine their idea and compete in the final round of competition. Travel, room and board costs associated with attending the Innovation Boot Camp will be paid for team members and faculty mentors.

Each member student of the first-place team will receive $3,000. Each student member of the second-place team will receive $2,000. Each student member of the third-place team will receive $1,000.

Submissions must be received between Sept 15, 2014 and Jan 15, 2015.

For more information or to enter, visit the NSF Community College Innovation Challenge.

Spark Students’ STEM Interests with Verizon’s 3rd Annual Innovative App Challenge


Library Kids on ComputerOne of the best ways to get kids interested in STEM fields is to include them in hands-on activities that let them get a real feel for the creative processes that go into STEM problem solving. The Verizon Innovative App Challenge is calling teams of middle school and high school students to dream up and create concepts for mobile apps that could solve problems in their schools and communities.

One of the winning teams from last year, which was an all-girl team, developed an app called Hello Navi, which assists visually impaired people who are trying to navigate inside buildings — the app was inspired by a blind classmate. Maggie Bolando, the girls’ team advisor, said “The Verizon App Challenge shows what regular kids can do if you challenge them to problem solve and believe in them. Before entering the App Challenge, I never dreamed my students would develop an app that would earn such recognition – they were even invited to the White House Science Fair and demonstrated their app in person for President Obama.”

Created by the Verizon Foundation in partnership with the Technology Student Association, The Verizon Innovative App Challenge encourages students to develop ideas and concepts for mobile apps.  Judging is based on whether the ideas solve challenges in the students’ communities, include STEM principles and are creative, unique and innovative.

The deadline for submission is November 24th and winners will be announced in January 2015.  Students do not need any coding or mobile experience to enter. Eight teams will be named Best in Nation with rewards of $20k each and new Samsung tablets for each team member.

Register or learn more at verizonfoundation.org/appchallenge.