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STEM Innovators and Entrepreneurs Recognized
2017 Spirit of Innovation Summit
Canaveral, FL – May 2017 / Newsmaker Alert / Five
teams of young entrepreneurs from around the world received top honors
at the 2017 Innovation
Summit, which took place April 27-29 at Kennedy
Space Center Visitor Complex. Hosted by the Conrad
Foundation, the Summit is the final competition round for the 2016-2017
Spirit of Innovation Challenge.
annual competition provides young innovators and entrepreneurs a platform
to share their commercially-viable, technology-based ideas before they
even graduate high school. This year 145 student teams, ages 13-18, created
new products and services focused on the following four categories: Aerospace
& Aviation, Cyber Technology & Security, Energy & Environment
and Health & Nutrition. Coaches and judges from the best in business,
industry, research and academia worldwide were there to guide the teams’
innovative ideas. Among those entries, 42 teams were named Finalists and
attended the 2017 Summit to present their products to a live panel of judges.
year I continued to be amazed by the talent of today’s students,” explained
Nancy Conrad, Founder and Chairman of the Conrad Foundation. “They are
truly our future and we are so glad they chose to feature their innovations
in the Conrad Challenge. This year we had teams from across the country
as well as the world with guests from Australia, Canada, India, Japan,
New Zealand and Thailand.”
following teams were named this year’s Pete Conrad Scholars, in honor of
Apollo 12 astronaut, Charles “Pete” Conrad, and his three-decade pursuit
of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Vibration Isolation Box from North Carolina School of Mathematics in Durham,
from Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, Florida
from Columbus Academy and Gahanna Lincoln High School in Columbus, Ohio
from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria,
winning team received a distinctive medal in honor of Conrad, a free market
research assessment from the Wisconsin Innovation Service Center and one
year associate membership to Sigma Xi. In addition all of the Conrad Finalists
were awarded the opportunity to apply for the Dentons’ Patent Prize and
Enventys Partners Prize both of which provide professional consultations
to the teams to further their product development.
Foundation also awarded “Power Pitch” awards in each category to the team(s)
who presented the best pitch on-stage in front of the live judges, their
peers and industry professionals. The following teams were recognized for
their presentation skills:
the Nancy Conrad Innovative Teacher of the Year award was given to Mirza
Faizan of Irving, Texas. Faizan received the honor for being an outstanding
advocate for STEM education and dedicated mentor to his student teams.
This year he brought two teams to Summit and has mentored student teams
in the competition for the last five years.
& Aviation: Firebird SORA from Seisen International School in Tokyo,
& Security: Dark Horse from Centennial High School, Independence
High School and Reedy High School in Frisco, Texas and Team TrackR from
Brisbane State High School in South Brisbane, Australia
& Environment: Beachbot Labs from Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter,
& Nutrition: Derryfield Lily Pods from The Derryfield School in
Manchester, New Hampshire and Sentec from McLean High School and Thomas
Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia
year also marked the first year for three special awards by America’s Navy,
NASA Goddard and InvenTeam initiative, administered by the Lemelson-MIT
Spirit of Innovation Challenge was made possible by America’s Navy, Battelle,
NASA, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Delaware North, Forward Industries,
Griffin Communications Group, Carter Ledyard, Sigma Xi, Dentons, Wisconsin
Innovation Service Center and Enventys Partners.
Navy Gemini Award was awarded to Styro-Filter as the team who best
reflected the Navy characteristics of teamwork, diversity, innovation and
NASA Goddard Technology Award recognized NCSSM Vibration Isolation
Box as the team who best incorporated existing NASA technologies that were
made available to the Finalists.
awarded Deer Misses from Battle Creek Area Math and Science Center in Battle
Creek, Michigan with immediate advancement to their finalist round to compete
for grants up to $10,000.
more information on the winners, visit www.conradfoundation.org.
The Conrad Foundation
Conrad Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to immersive learning
and the opportunity for students to use the lessons they learn in the classroom
to create commercially viable products in sustainability. The Foundation
is the only organization of its kind whose programs combine science and
technology-based education, innovation and entrepreneurship to inspire
solutions for achieving global sustainability. For more information, visit
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S.
space program, offering a full day or more of fun, inspiration and educational
activities, including its newest attraction, Heroes & Legends, featuring
the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, presented by Boeing, which opened
November 11, 2016. Other highlights include the Kennedy Space Center Tour
featuring the Apollo/Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket,
Space Shuttle Atlantis®, Shuttle Launch Experience®, IMAX®
A Beautiful Planet 3D and Journey To Space 3D films, Astronaut Encounter,
Journey To Mars: Explorers Wanted, Science on a Sphere®, Rocket Garden,
Cosmic Quest, and many other exhibits. Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla.,
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing
times varying by season. Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax
for children ages 3 – 11. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers annual
passes starting at $75 + tax for adults and $60 + tax for children ages
3 – 11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.
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