International Student Entrepreneurs Awarded Top Honors in 2020 Conrad Challenge Virtual Innovation Summit

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The 2019-20 Conrad Challenge award winners were announced today

37 finalist teams from around the world convened for the three-day summit and showcased inventions designed to solve pressing global challenges

[Our students] have proven, once again, that they are truly the game-changers who will shape the future… We can hardly wait to see what they accomplish.”

— Nancy Conrad, founding chairman, Conrad Foundation

HOUSTON, TEXAS, USA, May 29, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — Seven teams of high school-aged student innovators from around the world were awarded top honors during the 2020 Conrad Challenge Virtual Innovation Summit, held May 27-29 on the Hopin platform. The Summit was the final round of the 2019-20 Conrad Challenge, the annual competition that unleashes the potential of students to use their innovative and entrepreneurial skills to create solutions for some of the most pressing global challenges. More than 600 teams of 2-5 students between the ages of 13-18 entered the 2019-20 competition, a Conrad Challenge record.

This was the 14th year of the Conrad Challenge, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Innovation Summit was held online for the first time. This successful pivot in event planning allowed the Summit to proceed and gave these deserving students the opportunity to experience the culmination of their year-long efforts.

The Challenge began in August, when teams submitted their initial entry and worked on their investor pitch, which they completed in November. Qualifying teams then advanced to the second round in mid-November and worked through mid-January to develop and refine a business plan, market study and visual representation of their commercially viable solutions. Their products were then reviewed and scored by subject matter experts and judges before the finalist teams in each category were selected.

The 37 finalist teams who competed for top awards at the Virtual Innovation Summit hail from eight countries: Australia, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Vietnam and the United States. Each presented their new product in one of six categories: Aerospace & Aviation; Cyber-Technology & Security; Energy & Environment; Health & Nutrition; Transforming Education Through Technology; and Smoke-Free World. After submitting a video pitch and executive summary the week prior, the student teams participated in a live-video question and answer session with the panel of judges with expertise in business, industry, research and academia.

“Once again, the Conrad Foundation hosted a record number of young innovators who participated in the Conrad Challenge. Due to the pandemic, we were unable to host our in-person Innovation Summit at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Like seasoned entrepreneurs, our students pivoted to an online platform and delivered their fantastic product ideas to our expert judges,” said Nancy Conrad founding chairman of the Conrad Foundation. "They have proven, once again, that they are truly the game-changers who will shape the future. We are so proud of them and their dedication to creating commercially viable solutions to global and local challenges. We can hardly wait to see what they accomplish."

The following teams were recognized as Pete Conrad Scholars, the competition’s top award named in honor of Apollo 12 astronaut Charles "Pete" Conrad and his three-decade pursuit of innovation and entrepreneurship:

– Aerospace & Aviation: EcoAero, Naperville North, Naperville, Ill.
– Cyber-Technology & Security: Opioid Overdose Prevention System, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Fairfax, Va.
– Energy & Environment: The PowerCycle, The British School, New Delhi, India; Lunair, Score Academy, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
– Health & Nutrition: NeoSigno, Columbus Academy, Galena, Ohio
– Transforming Education Through Technology: StutterLess, Foothill High School, Pleasanton, Calif.
– Smoke-Free World, Eliminating & Reducing Teen Vaping: VapeEscape, team members from N.J., N.Y., and Dominican Republic
– Smoke-Free World, Repurposed Farmlands & Tobacco Crops: TobaccOats, Peak to Peak Charter School, Lafayette, Colo.

Each winning team receives a variety of prizes, including a distinctive medal and Pete Conrad Scholar certificate, a Dell 2-in-1 Chromebook, market research assessment from the Wisconsin Innovation Service Center, one-year associate membership to Sigma Xi, and scholarship opportunities. Additionally, special prizes are awarded the the winning teams in the Smoke-Free World category, sponsored by the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW), and the Transforming Education Through Technology category, sponsored by SMART Technologies. Full information on all prizes can be found here.

The “Power Pitch” awards, also presented by the Conrad Foundation, were earned by the teams who best presented their virtual pitch to the panel of judges, along with their peers and industry professionals. The following teams were recognized with this honor:

– Aerospace & Aviation: Astronyx, Oxford, United Kingdom
– Cyber-Technology & Security: NeuroSecure, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Fairfax, Va.
– Energy & Environment: Team Recycle Rex, Nigeria
– Health & Nutrition: PiezoPace, The Village School, Houston, Texas
– Transforming Education Through Technology: ScintillaVR, Mission San Jose High School, Freemont, Calif.
– Smoke-Free World, Eliminating & Reducing Teen Vaping: eduVape, Ed W. Clark High School, Las Vegas, Nev.
– Smoke-Free World, Repurposed Farmlands & Tobacco Crops: Nexkap, Cary Academy, Raleigh, N.C.

In addition to the Conrad Foundation awards, the following special awards were also distributed:

– NASA Goddard Technology Award: Etiam, The Village School, Houston, Texas, Singapore and United Kingdom
– AIAA Scholarship Award: Arjun Shah, EcoAero, Naperville North, Naperville, Ill.
– LeanGap Award: NeoSigno, Columbus Academy, Galena, Ohio
– Global Collaborator Award: Etiam, The Village School, Houston, Texas, Singapore and United Kingdom ; VapeEscape, team members from N.J., N.Y., and Dominican Republic; SpokeScience, team members from Ariz., Calif., Mass. and N.H.
– Teacher of the Year: Dr. Meg Hennessy, PiezoPace, The Village School, Houston, Texas
– Social Media Award: Astronyx, Oxford, United Kingdom

The 2019-20 Conrad Challenge was made possible by the support of its partners: The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, SMART Technologies, Bezos Family Foundation, NASA, Delaware North, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP, Griffin Communications Group, Arent Fox, Camp BizSmart, Dell, Dentons, LeanGap, NEXUS, Tranquility Lodge, Sigma Xi, Wisconsin Innovation Service Center, AIAA, Clarkson University, Menlo College, Lewis & Clark College, Thomas Jefferson University, College of Charleston, and Florida Institute of Technology. The Challenge was also supported by media partners and champion partners. Learn more about all sponsors and partners.

To learn more about the 2019-20 winners, visit www.conradchallenge.org. Students and educators interested in participating in the 2020-21 Challenge can sign up to receive more information by visiting the website.

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Experience the kick-off and welcome session from the 2020 Conrad Challenge Virtual Innovation Summit


Source: EIN Presswire