FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2023
Contact: Martha M. Parham, Ed.D.
opens in a new firstname.lastname@example.org new email
Houston Community College; Woodland Community College; and Feather River College took home winning titles following presentations of their STEM innovations to address real-world challenges
Washington, DC – Today, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), in partnership with the U.S. opens in a new windowNational Science Foundation (NSF), announced the three winning teams of this year’s opens in a new windowCommunity College Innovation Challenge (CCIC).
The annual competition seeks to strengthen entrepreneurial thinking among community college students by challenging them to develop STEM-based solutions to real-world problems. It also enables students to discover and demonstrate their capacity to use STEM to make a difference in the world and to translate that knowledge into action.
The first, second and third-place winning teams and their innovations are listed below.
- Houston Community College, TX
Project Eagle Rescue
Project Eagle Rescue has developed the Rescue Operation Assistant (ROA), which is a new attachment for firefighters’ gear. It is a hands-free device that will analyze in real-time if there are any obstacles, structural failures, or victims that firefighters would otherwise be unable to see through smoke and fire.
- Woodland Community College, CA
Location Emitting Emergency Ring
The Location Emitting Emergency Ring (L.E.E.R) uses GPS tracking, live audio feed, and a panic switch to provide safety in a discrete package. Once activated, a signal is sent to family, friends, or loved ones allowing them to locate the user and bring them to safety.
- Feather River College, CA
Making Our Mark with the EVA-1
Making Our MARK with the EVA-I is a redesign of the existing MARK-3 water pump used by wildland firefighters. The EVA-1 increases efficiency and saves water and energy by being solar battery-powered and equipped with heat sensors, which are programmed to activate only when the sensors pick up on the heat signature of an approaching wildfire.
This week, 12 community colleges selected as finalists in a national competition attended an Innovation Boot Camp where they learned from entrepreneurs and experts in business planning, stakeholder engagement, strategic communication, and marketplace dynamics. The Boot Camp culminated in a Student Innovation Poster Session with STEM leaders and congressional stakeholders, and a 5-minute pitch presentation to a panel of industry and entrepreneurial professionals determining the winning teams.
“NSF is proud to co-sponsor CCIC. Through the years, the agency has recognized and supported the critical role of community colleges in meeting the nation’s education and workforce needs – which includes providing students from all backgrounds with the essential STEM skills to thrive,” said James L. Moore III, assistant director for STEM Education. “This innovative competition prepares today’s STEM students to become tomorrow’s STEM leaders.”
Among the ideas the 12 finalist teams presented this year are solutions for addressing dementia care; safety concerns for children with autism; recycling and energy conservation efforts; climate research; the improvement of equipment for firefighters; the enhancement of advanced manufacturing and 3D printing practices; and the use of artificial intelligence to address student challenges with distraction and time management.
“We are so proud of all of the student teams that participated in the Community College Innovation Challenge,” said Walter G. Bumphus, president and CEO of AACC. “These project ideas showcase the outstanding level of educational opportunities provided at the nation’s community colleges. On behalf of AACC, congratulations to the team from Houston Community College and all of the finalists. The innovation and creativity shown by these students clearly indicates that our future is in good hands.”
To receive updates about the CCIC’s 2023 winners, follow opens in a new window@Comm_College or visit opens in a new windowwww.aaccinnovationchallenge.com.
As the voice of the nation’s community colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), delivers educational and economic opportunity for nearly 12 million diverse students in search of the American Dream. Uniquely dedicated to access and success for all students, AACC’s member colleges provide an on-ramp to degree attainment, skilled careers, and family-supporting wages. Located in Washington, D.C., AACC advocates for these not-for-profit, public-serving institutions to ensure they have the resources and support they need to deliver on the mission of increasing economic mobility for all. https://www.aacc.nche.edu/
About NSF The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts. opens in a new windowhttps://www.nsf.gov