BY donna thomas special to the courier A team from Itawamba Community College has been selected as a finalist for the 2021 Community College Innovation challenge, which is sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges and the National Science Foundation. Members include Diana Salinas of Golden; Haley Dean, Abby Rinehart, both of Saltillo; and Emma Atkinson of Tupelo. The team mentor is Bradley Howard of Saltillo, Computer Science instructor and division chair. Howard said that this is the first time that ICC has reached finalist status. “These students have done an outstanding job on this project. They are all great examples of the high quality of students that we have at ICC.” As a finalist, the ICC team is required to attend the CCIC Boot Camp to be held virtually June 14-17. The camp is designed to provide a hands-on learning opportunity for the finalist teams to further develop their ideas with a focus on building innovation, entrepreneurship and strategic communication skills. Congressional members, community college leaders, STEM stakeholders, key congressional staff and other guests are invited to engage with the finalist teams to learn about their ideas and proposed solutions. The Student Innovation Showcase, which is June 16, provides an opportunity for the CCIC judges to interact with each team and to view their poster and 90-second video as part of the judging criteria for selecting the competition winners. Each team will also be assigned to a facilitated breakout session room for 20 minutes to engage with visitors about their project. The other segment of the Boot Camp is the Team Pitch Presentation, which will be June 17. Judges will assess the finalist teams’ abilities in convincingly conveying the merits, value and potential of their ideas during the presentation.
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