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.