Challenge Continues to Develop Future Leaders

BENJAMIN NORMAN | THE SPECTRUM A $5,000 check is presented to Team SkyHawk. Five undergraduate engineering majors won the product category in the 2015 Innovation Challenge.
BENJAMIN NORMAN | THE SPECTRUM
A $5,000 check is presented to Team SkyHawk. Five undergraduate
engineering majors won the product category in the 2015 Innovation Challenge.

North Dakota State students showed off their new ideas Thursday.

The Innovation Challenge wrapped up another competition with a luncheon and award ceremony at the Fargodome.

This year included three categories in which both undergraduate and graduate students participated.

The three groups — service, product and corn-based innovation — allowed students to submit their original creations.

Teams and individuals worked with faculty advisers throughout the fall and winter and presented ideas to a panel that decided the winners. The winners in these categories received cash prizes ranging from $500 to $5,000.

The students participated in numerous bootcamps on how to work and develop their ideas with professionalism. Tasks learned about included networking with other experts in the Fargo area, how to write and acquire grants and also how to give impactful presentations.

The teams went through two rounds of judging, starting with 32 entrants and dwindling down to the final 23.  The third round was open to the public and included a 10-minute presentation.

“The caliber of projects keep getting better. Next year will be even more impressive,” Hilary Haugeberg, student body vice president, said. “As a student-focused, land-grant university, we are here to research as well to find creativity.”

Product category first place winner was Team SkyHawk which developed a multi-axial rotor drone system. Second place was Team Clothes Hanger Reinvented which uses geometric forms can be reconfigured to work for different clothes and accessories. Third place, Team ToxoSafe is a smart anti-cancer drug, aimed at protecting healthy tissue from toxicity.

In the Service category the first place winner was Team Townnected, which is a news outlet for people to post news about towns that they are from and have interest in. Second place was Team Fruition that developed an app to capture gratitude as they encounter it and can reflect on it. Third place was Team App EZ; the app focuses on developing deep breathing exercises.

Corn-innovation categories first place winner was Team A Displaced Farmer. They modified a rotary hammer mill for combines. Second place was Team Tea Time, which is an alternative to commercial green tea. Third place was Team Color with Corn and they are using corn byproducts as ways to add nutrients to butter.

The People’s Choice Award was Team Liu Group. They are working on an innovation for early detection breast cancer testing.

The Innovation Challenge is sponsored by the NDSU Research and Technology Park.

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