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Community College Innovation Challenge

Third NSF Community College Innovation Challenge rewards top entries

Judges recognize projects that slow antibiotic resistance and enhance STEM education

June 16, 2017: Teams from Texas and Colorado received first and second place awards, respectively, in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Community College Innovation Challenge. The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) co-sponsors the annual event, which fosters students' interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers by asking them to offer creative solutions to real-world problems. Read more.

First Place 2017

2017 CCIC Winners

Del Mar College, Texas: Slowing Antibiotic Resistance with EnteroSword

This project advocates the use of tailor-made viruses that target bacteria that are resistant to conventional antibiotics treatment methods.

Photo: Students John Ramirez, Danial Nasr Azadani and Reavelyn Pray with their display at the Finalists' Reception on Capitol Hill. Credit: NSF/Bill Petros

Second Place 2017

2017 CCIC Winners

Red Rocks Community College, Colo.: Cyber Lab Learning Environment

The Red Rocks Community College team uses printed and digital material to demonstrate the power of the Cyber Lab Learning Environment.

Photo: Students Bruno Salvatico, John Sanchez and Isaac Kerley with their display at the Finalists' Reception on Capitol Hill. Credit: NSF/Bill Petros

Finalists 2017

  • Laney College, California: Laney College Pocket House Project
    Jake Chevrier, Marisha Farnsworth, Kimberly Gonzalez, Richard Rothbart, Daniel Ticker and Miguel Vega
    The Laney College Pocket House Project aims to overturn homelessness by using digital fabrication methods to create safe, inexpensive homes that are quick to manufacture and simple to assemble with minimal waste.
  • Corning Community College, New York: Project WaterFED
    Joseph Davis, Andy Diffenderfer, Sri Kamesh Narasimhan, Patrick Pruden and Jacob Zelko
    Project WaterFED aims to give people in communities with limited access to drinking water the tools to create water filters and other products by recycling discarded plastics.
  • El Paso Community College, Texas: Paso Del Norte Solar Innovators
    Roberto Alcala, Luis Lopez, Madero Rogelio Aguirre, Benito Oseguera and Olga Valerio
    Team El Paso Community College presents a composite-based material that improves solar panel performance by absorbing excess heat. The material prolongs the lifetime of solar panel systems and increases their energy efficiency in high temperature areas.
  • Forsyth Technical, North Carolina: Renewable Energy Roof Tile System
    Amber DeWitt, Brandon Mitchell, Julie Reynolds, Robert Summers and William Szwarc
    Forsyth Technical proposes a Renewable Energy Roofing Tile System that offers a realistic alternative to fossil fuels and traditional solar panels.
  • Frederick Community College, Maryland: Recycled Solar Stations for Energy
    Tanner Ash, Elizabeth Doyle, Cassie Kraham, Sean Scott, Godfrey Ssenyonga, Judy Staveley and Adil Zuber
    The Frederick Community College team piggybacks off recent research to experimentally determine the energy output of bacteria in soil. The team constructed a better bio-solar cell by changing the materials used in bio-solar cell creation.
  • Henry Ford College, Michigan: Veteroil: An Alternative Energy from Yard Waste
    Breanna Allen, Janice Gilliland and Will O'Connell
    The Henry Ford College proposes to replace fossil fuel with a biofuel from yard waste, which costs cities $7.3 billion per year. This innovation could save cities thousands of dollars each year by reducing the amount of yard waste fill disposed in landfills.
  • Oakton Community College, Illinois: Evaluation of Baking Oven Exhaust Recovery
    Harry Budge IV, Eduardo Jimenez Jr., Omer Malik, Rahim Sajwani and Helen Skop
    The Evaluation of Baking Oven Exhaust Recovery project contributes to development of innovative technology that evaluates ethanol pollution from various bakery processes that waste water and energy.
  • Bucks County Community College, Pennsylvania: Simply Secure
    Nikolous Bertino, Christine Delahanty, Roshan Thomas and Alexander White
    Bucks County's Simply Secure project would produce a low-cost, portable device that small businesses and everyday consumers could use to confidently and securely connect to any wireless network and ensure data travels cryptically from end-to-end.

Winners 2016

The 2016 Challenge awarded one First Place winner and two Second Place winners.

First Place: The Forsyth Technical Community College (Winston-Salem NC) team proposed to modernize greenhouses to fit individual customer needs by incorporating the use of renewable energy sources. NSF photo

Second Place: The team from Normandale Community College (Bloomington MN) proposed installing and implementing hydrokinetic turbines in wastewater treatment plants to generate renewable energy. NSF photo

Second Place: The team from Virginia Western Community College (Roanoke VA) proposed a mechanical collection method of recovering apples that otherwise could not be sold to produce environmentally friendly biofuel. NSF photo

Winners 2015

First Place: The Red Foxes - Red Rocks Community College, Lakewood, CO: Mobile Medical Disaster Relief Dispensation Unit NSF photo

Second Place: Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, South Bend: Biosensor for Coliphage aka 'Betadataquantatada' NSF photo

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Community College Innovation Challenge
National Science Foundation
2415 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, Virginia 22314 USA

Follow #CCIChallenge

Who: Teams of 3-5 community college students with an interest in STEM, innovation and entrepreneurism; a faculty mentor and an industry partner.

When: Submit Oct. 18, 2017 - Feb. 14, 2018 by 11:59 p.m. EST.

Required Innovation Boot Camp for finalists and their faculty mentor, Alexandria, Va., June 11-14, 2018.


Why: To foster development of crucial innovation and entrepreneurial skills, gain confidence, network, win prizes and make real-world change.