Community College Innovation Challenge...

Using laboratory experiments, first place awardee, Del Mar College, Texas, demonstrated that their product, EnteroSword, could offer another solution to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Here, team member Daniel Nasr Azadani, demonstrates how EnteroSword fights antibiotic resistant bacteria. Credit: NSF/Bill Petros Photography

Topics: Education, Jobs, STEM

Teams from Texas and Colorado received first and second place awards, respectively, in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC).

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.

This year, CCIC had students propose solutions to issues focusing on three themes: Maker to Manufacturer, Energy and Environment and Security Technologies.

"Our role as an agency is to fund trailblazers with curiosity-driven ideas," said NSF acting Chief Operating Officer Joan Ferrini-Mundy at a Wednesday Capitol Hill reception, where students showcased their projects. "We know that community colleges are rich resources for the skilled technical workforce and provide an environment where bright new ideas can thrive."

A four-judge panel selected first place awardee Del Mar College for their proposed solution to a problem that affects about 2 million people each year in the United States: the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Their project, called "Slowing Antibiotic Resistance with EnteroSword," promotes the use of tailor-made viruses that only infect and kill bacteria resistant to conventional antibiotic treatments.

Red Rocks Community College received second place for their project, "Cyber Lab Learning Environment," which demonstrates how students can learn without fear in the safety of student-created cyber labs and develop real-world skills in response to real-world challenges. With print and digital materials, the cyber lab provides a real-world environment for advanced learning.

Third NSF Community College Innovation Challenge rewards top entries National Science Foundation

Media Contacts Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8070, bmixon@nsf.gov Martha Parham, American Association of Community Colleges, mparham@aacc.nche.edu

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