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The Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC) is a prestigious, two-stage competition where community college teams use science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to innovate solutions to real-world problems, compete for cash awards, and earn full travel support (students and faculty) to attend an Innovation Boot Camp in Washington, D.C.

The CCIC is an annual event in its fourth year. It is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

What the Challenge Does

  • Strengthens and develops STEM thinking by applying it to solving real-world problems.
  • Creates deeper engagement and interactions between students and faculty mentors, and with the industry community, in a focused activity.
  • Expands horizons for faculty mentors and students.
  • Promotes the larger ecosystem that carries invention from idea to beneficial innovation.
  • Establishes productive relationships with NSF, AACC and industry.

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Credit: ESB Professional/Shutterstock.com

Student teams (and one faculty mentor) are required to:

  • Assess the innovation's potential impact (such as on the economy, national security, global competitiveness, etc.)
  • Determine the scientific and market feasibility, and societal relevance of the project
  • Identify any potential challenges (scientific, market or societal) and ways to work through them
  • Share ideas for how the innovation would be implemented in a real-world scenario

Teams enter the solution in the challenge by submitting a written entry; and a 90-second video.

Finalist teams will attend an Innovation Boot Camp in Alexandria, Virginia, June 11-14, 2018.

Teams will discover the process for transforming ideas into reality through learning strategies for entrepreneurism, customer discovery, lean startup business and product-developing methodology, and design-centered thinking. They will gain practical communication skills through coaching and mentoring, and the opportunity to present on Capitol Hill.

The first and second place teams win cash awards. Teams are judged by their interaction and display at the Capitol Hill reception, and on their final presentation and pitch of ideas at the Boot Camp.

Submissions will be accepted through February 14, 2018.  

Want to learn more?  Click here.  

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