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FRC Innovation Challenge students pose with local firefighter, Paul Ithurburn, after speaking about their project and its impact on local wildfires. From left: Emma Leff, Ashley Vernon, Evi de Bois and Iliana Nye. Photo submitted

Feather River College advances in nationwide Innovation Challenge!

Feather River College (FRC) is one of 12 finalist teams that will advance to the next phase of the Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC) with the American Association of Community Colleges and National Science Foundation!

The CCIC is a national competition where community college student teams, working with a faculty or administrator team mentor, use science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to innovate solutions to real-world problems. Finalists will attend an innovation Boot Camp to share their ideas with experts and practitioners in the field and compete for cash prizes.

The FRC team consists of: Evi de Bois, Emma Leff, Iliana Nye and Ashley Vernon. Their faculty mentor is Nikki Grose of the English Department.

Working together, the team was able to develop an innovative solution proposal to help wildland firefighters. Their project description is as follows: “Making our MARK with the EVA-I is a redesign of the existing MARK-3 pump used by wildland firefighters. The EVA-I increases efficiency and saves water and energy by being solar battery-powered and equipped with heat sensors, which are programmed to activate only when the sensors pick up on the heat signature of an approaching wildfire.”

FRC will now move on to the Innovation Boot Camp in June. This Boot Camp will give the team the opportunity to be coached in building communication and entrepreneurial skills relevant to supporting innovation in both the private and public sectors. The sessions will include information applicable to commercializing ideas, using technology for social applications, communicating with stakeholders, refining a pitch, and more.

The  team from FRC will be up against some stiff competition from schools all over the U.S., including schools from New York and Texas, demonstrating even more of how large of an accomplishment this is for such a small community college!

To learn more, visit aaccinnovationchallenge.com. Stay up-to-date with the FRC team’s progress by following #CCIChallenge and #FeatherRiverCol on social media!

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