Kennedy Space Center Hosts Young STEM Innovators, Entrepreneurs During 2017 Spirit Of Innovation Summit

By  //  May 9, 2017

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45 teams competed from around the world

ABOVE VIDEO: Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge 2017 Final at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

BREVARD COUNTY • KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA – 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.

The 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 team’s’ 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.

“Each 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.”

ABOVE VIDEO: Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge 2017 – Day Three Awards Ceremony.

The 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.

Aerospace & Aviation:

NCSSM Vibration Isolation Box from North Carolina School of Mathematics in Durham, North Carolina

Cyber-Technology & Security:

TIER from Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, Florida

Energy & Environment:

Styro-Filter from Columbus Academy and Gahanna Lincoln High School in Columbus, Ohio

Health & Nutrition:

Ocular from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia

Each 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.

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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.

The 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:

  • Aerospace & Aviation: Firebird SORA from Seisen International School in Tokyo, Japan
  • Cyber-Technology & Security: Dark Horse from Centennial High School
  • Independence High School and Reedy High School in Frisco Texas
  • Team TrackR from Brisbane State High School in South Brisbane, Australia

Energy & Environment:

Beachbot Labs from Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire

Health & Nutrition:

  • Derryfield Lily Pods from The Derryfield School in Manchester
  • New Hampshire and Sentec from McLean High School
  • Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia

In addition, 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.

This year also marked the first year for three special awards by America’s Navy, NASA Goddard and InvenTeam initiative, administered by the Lemelson-MIT Program.

America’s Navy Gemini Award was awarded to Styro-Filter as the team who best reflected the Navy characteristics of teamwork, diversity, innovation and hard work.

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The 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.

InvenTeam 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.

The 2016-2017 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.

CLICK HERE For more information on the winners.

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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.


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