AACC and NSF Announce 12 Student Teams to Advance to Community College Innovation Challenge Finals


Community college students will participate in an innovation boot camp to showcase their STEM solutions to real-world challenges

WASHINGTON, April 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), in partnership with the national science foundation (NSF), announced that it had selected 12 finalist teams to qualify for the final round of the Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC), scheduled for June 2022.

Now in its sixth year, the competition aims to strengthen entrepreneurial thinking in community college students by challenging them to develop STEM-based solutions to real-world problems. It also allows students to discover and demonstrate their ability to use STEM to make a difference in the world and translate that knowledge into action.

Teams consist of two to four students and a mentor from the faculty or administrator team. Finalists attend an Innovation Boot Camp in June and interact with entrepreneurs and experts in business planning, stakeholder engagement, strategic communications and market dynamics. The Boot Camp concludes with a student innovation poster session with STEM leaders and Congress stakeholders and a pitch presentation to determine the winning first, second and third place teams.

“I am proud to congratulate the CCIC 2022 finalists. This year’s teams represent an astonishing level of talent and creativity,” said Walter G. Bumphus, President and CEO of the AACC. “It is an honor that in conjunction with the National Science Foundation, we can showcase these exceptional community college students. They will benefit from the program and develop skills that will last a lifetime and we will benefit from the solutions to real-world problems developed by these future entrepreneurs.”

Idea teams featured this year include solutions to deal with oil spills; HIV-1 treatments; a solar-powered refrigeration system to store vital medicines; water filtration systems; and apps to connect STEM students to career opportunities.

“Community colleges play a vital role in nurturing our country’s diverse STEM talent,” said Sylvia Butterfield, acting deputy director of the NSF’s education and human resources department. “I want to congratulate this year’s finalists who offer their unique insights to bring solutions to some of society’s most pressing issues.”

The 12 finalist schools and their projects are:

  • Bergen Community College (New Jersey)
    • The ScanCan: Smart Recycling Bin is a recycling bin that can identify and accept or reject recyclables, ensuring recyclers collect items free of non-recyclable waste.
  • College of Central Florida (Florida)
    • True Wireless ECG offers a wireless electrocardiogram (ECG) that uses modern Bluetooth technology to connect all ten electrode sensors simultaneously to a smartphone or tablet to run a comprehensive analysis of cardiac activity simple enough to be used by an average person.
  • Columbus State Community College (Ohio)
    • Columbus Kinesthetics’ mission is to innovate STEM education by providing students with an immersive way to learn technical skills through the use of augmented and virtual reality applications, providing students with realistic insight into the employment and an understanding of the technical workforce.
  • Des Moines Area Community College (Iowa)
    • The Social Student app connects students with resources and people on campus allowing students to connect, participate, and discover available resources, including tutoring services and an events calendar accessible to instructors and students .
  • Front Range Community College (Colorado)
    • The Orca oil separation and biofiltration vessel offers a solution to a problem that affects the earth every day: oil spills. The Orca, inspired by the unique feeding pattern of whales, deploys a new method of cleaning up oil spills that is both inexpensive and fast.
  • Linn-Benton Community College (Oregon)
    • The Wearable Air Protection System gives people a way to protect themselves from polluted air, whether large or small particles, without having to cover half their face to stay safe. The system is also specifically designed for use by frontline firefighters.
  • Middlesex Community College (Massachusetts)
    • STEM-finder is a dynamic mobile application that allows community college students to Massachusetts to easily find life-changing STEM-related opportunities that match their specific colleges and interests to energize their professional lives.
  • Ohlone College (California)
    • Wave Riders is a device that samples water, collects data and sends it to a cloud where the data can be mapped in real time. This innovation enables real-time data to inform organizations about solutions to address drinking water toxicity, pollution and ecosystem damage.
  • Polk State College (Florida)
    • The Polk State College team is working to osmotically reverse the negative effects of microplastics in drinking water by downsizing large commercial water filters for practical home use.
  • San Antonio College (Texas)
    • Ocular Horizon is a video software package that detects and monitors seizures using eye movements on any consumer device with a camera. It provides an inexpensive solution and accessible care for the three million people with epilepsy in the United States.
  • Santa Monica College (California)
    • the Santa Monica College The team offers a treatment for HIV-1 using LRAs, NK cells and bNABs that reactivate latent HIV cells with the aim of stopping their production at the source by killing the cells that the viruses harbor.
  • SUNY Orange (New York)
    • Solar Absorption Repository (SAR) is a solar-powered compact refrigeration system that helps store vaccines and other medicines at the right temperature in rural and sub-rural areas of Africa where electrical instability is a problem.

To receive updates on Innovation Boot Camp 2022 and the winners, follow @Comm_College or visit www.aaccinnovationchallenge.com.

About the AACC
As the voice of community colleges nationwide, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) provides educational and economic opportunities to nearly 12 million diverse students in pursuit of the American dream. Uniquely dedicated to access and success for all students, AACC member colleges provide a pathway to graduation, skilled careers, and family-supporting salaries. Situated in washington d.c.the AACC advocates that these non-profit public service institutions ensure that they have the resources and support they need to fulfill their mission of increasing economic mobility for all. https://www.aacc.nche.edu/

About the NSF
The National Science Foundation of the United States propels the nation forward by advancing basic research in all fields of science and engineering. The NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments, and funding to support their ingenuity and support the United States as a world leader in research and innovation. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive submissions each year and awards approximately 11,000 new awards. These awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international science efforts.

SOURCE American Association of Community Colleges


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