While I was able to put some pictures up from the competition, here are pictures from the awards. You can download them if you want or just take a peek at them, whatever you do, here they are 🙂
Leaving Miami, the groups got together for a pre-Final pow-wow. It started with our Macedonian team having their flight from Istanbul canceled due to some political turmoil and not being able to make it to Miami to board the Adonia! Then, in an incredible display of kindness, the remaining 10 teams voted to allow him to compete, even though he missed the actual, large-group competition. I was very impressed with the display of kindness! Students never cease to amaze me!
The Final began on Monday the 18th, at 9:00 AM and people on board the ship came out to ask questions while the competitors did their thing in front of the judges. After 10 teams four and a half hours of competition, we were done for the day and still had another blissful day left at sea.
At sea or in port, boy oh boy were the judges and passengers impressed! Regular people who had no idea about the Science involved in the projects stopped by and were stunned by what these high school students from around the world came up with! (I was too.) People who were late to the competition were upset they missed it. Little did they know there was more coming…
Our teams got to know each other, and we landed in Puerto Plata, home of Amber Cove. Fathom/Carnival’s 90 million dollar playground for those interested in not seeing the Dominican Republic the way we would come to see it…Even the weather tried to ruin the fun and impacts we were about to have and participate in. On the ground we did CAMS (Creative Arts, Music, Sports), paper recycling, water filtration, cement floors and other Impact Activities, where we interacted one-on-one with the children and families of the Dominican Republic. Not to sound like an advertisement but, you really should check out Fathom’s website for more information because it’s worth the time to see all that participants did (and that you can do too)!… It is the Dominican Republic after all 🙂
But it was our last team, the Young Researchers, all the way from Macedonia, 5,621 miles away, who still needed his turn in front of the judges, which he got on Thursday the 21st. And thanks to the kindness and goodness of the teams, he had that chance and was equally impressive, demonstrating his solar-powered portable water-heater in the library of the Adonia to our amazed judges: Ms. Liza McFarland, Ms. Emily Hepding and Dr. Raghuveer Modala.
All of the scores were in! All of the various impact activities were done, we were on board, sailing for Miami, Florida when the prizes were to be handed out and did we ever have a treat for the participants of the competition. It’s not often, on large cruise ships that you get to meet and shake the captain’s hand. (However, our Adonia isn’t your typically large, 4,000+ capacity cruise ship, it only holds 750.) How often can you hear the captain speak frankly about the STEM knowledge (from electronic to mechanical, oceanic to engineering) needed to pilot a ship capable of holding 1,000 total people? Not very often, but that is exactly what we had! Captaining a 592 foot, 30,277 ton ship cannot be easy but she was kind enough to take an hour from her schedule to give out the awards and speak to all who were gathered.
As the awards went out Saturday evening and while we all slept through the night, Adonia steamed serenely through the night at a steady 17 knots (19.5 mph/ 31.3 kph) and we woke up back where we started, the port of Miami. Our cruise to and from Amber Cove covered roughly 2,000 miles and four days at sea. Although there were only 20 students on board (from four different nations), the number of memories we created are uncountable and the lives touched were innumerable.
Two days later as I wrote this, I sat again thinking. Thinking about all I saw, experience, the students, parents and chaperones I met and the ideas I was impressed by and the ending to this story ends with a “Thank you”. Without all the dedication of the students and their support systems, the Clean Tech Competition couldn’t happen. Sure I did a lot of work, but it was all for you. So…Thank you…without you, it wouldn’t have been possible. You’ve all made a huge impact on my life and I hope your idea makes an even bigger one on the world!
Never stop looking around you (for a solution), you never know what you’ll see!
While you’re getting up for camp or work, we’re currently on our way. Peacefully sailing from Terminal J in the Port of Miami to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Right now the first of our 11 teams will have their 15 minutes in front of the judges.
The teams have flown from as far away as Singapore, Macedonia and Portugal along with across the United States to board the Adonia. We’re currently sailing so look for updates on our Twitter account @CleanTechComp or @Fathom to see what we’re up to.
Please wish all of our contestants “Good Luck!”
Can you believe it?! 31 days have gone by since the last time I posted! 31 days or 744 hours, however you look at it, we’re now at less than a week before we set sail on our cruise and let the teams compete for 1st prize and the $10,000 that goes along with it.
I’ve got all my stuff ready, bags are mostly packed already, passport, ID, money, trophies and medals and all the other miscellaneous stuff too. I’m all set, the judges are too, are you? As you’re packing, I hope you remembered what the CDC said about Zika, if you’ve forgotten, check out my post from earlier: For your Consideration. It is important to take precautions so read through it if you haven’t done so already.
That being said there is incredible news about the cruise. The United States Copyright Office is sending a representative on the cruise! “So what?” you might be thinking but it’s a big deal! Big deal, right? RIGHT! This is a way that you can help get your idea copyrighted and help submit your idea to companies to get your idea to market! Selling your idea could literally change the world, and it doesn’t get much bigger of an impact than affecting the entire world! The representative will be joining us and give information on the process. Make sure you take time to speak to the representative, and don’t worry we’ll make sure you know who that representative is 🙂
Well there’s still things I must attend to but I’ll see you in six days! Yup, six. Pack your sunscreen, bug spray and all the stuff you need to show off your idea to the judges. They’re waiting, I’m waiting, and I can’t wait to meet you all!
Here we come Miami, see you soon Dominican Republic!
Ready to Make An Impact?
Today is a stunningly beautiful day here on Long Island (New York)! It’s 74°F and sunny with a WNW 15 mph, that’s 23°C with WNW 24 km/h for those of you not used to Fahrenheit 🙂
So I was sitting staring out my window, again, and I realized that we’re a little over a month away from the cruise and the Final! We’re a mere 37 days away from boarding the Adonia!! Me being me, I had to know more about our home-away-from-home for seven days and…WOW! I don’t want to give too much away but I cannot wait to get onboard the Adonia! I’ve never been on a cruise ship and ours looks incredible! I hope you’re as excited as I am. But if you simply cannot wait to see what the ship has in store for you, you can check out the following website for a plethora of details: https://www.fathom.org/adonia-cruise-ship/
But let’s face it, that’s not the only reason I am stoked to get onboard. Right now, you’re all faceless names from countries near and far. I’m excited because I will finally get a chance to put a face to your name, there are 21 of you competing in the Final and I cannot wait to meet all of you! I can’t wait to see what you’ve been working so assiduously on. You, the ones who wrote the papers, who are creating your prototypes and working with your Advisor, I am eager to meet you and discuss your ideas and projects!
You have all worked so hard on your papers and prototypes and before you know it, you’ll be packing your suitcases and getting on a flight to Miami, then boarding the Adonia. There’s so much you’ve done already and still much left to do, I’m sure. But it won’t be long now, before the Final is here!
I’ll see you in 37 short days!
The school year is winding down, many of your are preparing for Final Exams, Regents Exams, AP and IB tests and many other types of cumulative end-of-the-year tests and we here at Clean Tech wish you nothing but the best of luck on those. Personally, seeing the effort you put into your papers, I know you’ll do wonderfully on them!
Things have been happening since the Finalists were announced. Sadly some of our International teams who had been invited to the Finals, could not attend the Final and others were elated to attend. So I’d like to introduce you to the (accepted) Finalists and show you their home country.
|Plastic Patrol||United States|
|Organic Solar Cells||United States|
|The Green Team||United States|
|Chem Lady Mats||United States|
|Pla-TASTIC Buccaneers||United States|
|Inside The Box||United States|
These final Finalists are working hard with their STEM Advisors to develop their prototype to demonstrate them to our Final judges. They will be joining us in Miami, Florida as we set sail for the Dominican Republic. I hope you will join me and wish them “Good Luck!” as they compete for 1st prize in this prestigious competition.
Some finalists have bowed out and others are taking their place but on the mind of many is something different and worth discussing, Zika. While you have probably seen it reported on TV or read it in a someplace, I want you to see and read directly from the Center for Disease Control, the CDC.
Our directors were fortunate enough to be part of the “media cruise” which Fathom hosted last week, the 17th-24th. She and our other director, Eric, set sail from Miami to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic to see what we can expect on the cruise and while in the Dominican. Zika did come up in conversation. Ray Ann and Eric, my directors are well aware of the concerns over Zika but followed the CDC and their alert: “Alert – Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions”.
“Enhanced Precautions”, what does that mean? Well, according to the CDC, it means wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, using only an EPA-registered insect repellent (Off!, Cutter, Sawyer, Ultrathon, etc.) among other things. Without rattling everything from the CDC website, take some time and read this PDF from the CDC and see for yourself… As you read, these are simple, easy steps that anyone can take to help prevent getting bitten by an infected mosquito. My directors followed these steps and…no mosquito bites!
The best way you and your team to prepare is to read. This is the CDC’s website on Zika and I encourage you to read it and this is the Fact Sheets and Posters which also has a wealth of information. Be informed, be prepared and I’ll see you in Miami for our cruise to the Dominican!
The finalists have been determined!
There were a total of 705 papers that needed to be scored and it took the judges weeks but after determining our semi-finalists, it is my pleasure to announce the finalists for the 2016! How the judges were able to cull down to the top 30 and down to these top 10 must have been exhausting but here they are!
In no particular order I give you the 2016 Clean Tech Competition Finalist teams!
|Trans-Illuminator||Pine Crest School, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA|
|Squeaky Clean 1||National Junior College, Singapore|
|Plastic Patrol||Livingston High School, Livingston, New Jersey, USA|
|Team FCFN||Temasek Junior College, Singapore|
|ElectroPositive||George W. Hewlett High School, Hewlett, NY, USA|
|Organic Solar Cells||Henry M. Gunn High School, Palo Alto, California, USA|
|Team Egg-cellent||Hwa Chong Institution, Singapore|
|Chem Lady Mats||Monta Vista High School, Cupertino California, USA|
|Nature Buddies||Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary), Singapore|
|Plastic Girls||National Junior College, Singapore|
Congratulations to all of the finalists, start your planning now because I can’t wait to meet you in Miami, Florida!
Now in case a team cannot make it, we do have alternate finalists (check out, “What’s Next?” if you forgot) so don’t get too down if you’re not one of our finalists. All Finalists will be contacted directly so check your inboxes later today, Monday the 18th.
Congratulations once again Finalists!
This year was incredible! We had 19 different countries!: China, Singapore, USA, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Fiji, South Africa, Indonesia, Brazil, Egypt, Malaysia, Canada, Ireland, Australia, India, Cambodia, Peru, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates. That’s all four hemispheres represented with over 230 papers submitted. And boy oh boy were the judges busy!
I can tell you I fielded many questions about the judges and got many a good quote from them about all the hard work you put into your papers…Many of which I will share in the not-too-distant future…So you can imagine how difficult it is for me to announce these, knowing and seeing how good the scores are.
Just a taste of the quotes about the fantastic work seen before the good stuff below…And yes, one of our judges hails from Iraq.
From Dr. Yaseen A. Hamaamin, Faculty of Engineering, University of Sulaimani, Iraq: “As an academic judge, I have had an exciting time grading and evaluating next generation innovators papers in Clean Tech Competition 2016. They provided creative research thoughts, making impacts to improve and sustain our environment.”
Below you will see the table with the semi-finalists! Congratulations to the semi-finalists! You’re that much closer to the Final! If you’re a semi-finalist, you will be contacted directly by me tomorrow, Tuesday the 12th.
|School Name||Team Name|
|Hwa Chong Institution||Team Egg-cellent|
|Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary)||Nature Buddies|
|Livingston High School||Plastic Patrol|
|Temasek Junior College||Team FCFN|
|National Junior College||Squeaky Clean 1|
|Henry M. Gunn High School||Organic Solar Cells|
|Pine Crest School||Trans-Illuminator|
|Monta Vista High School||Chem Lady Mats|
|National Junior College||Plastic Girls|
|Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary)||Team JIKsaw|
|National Junior College||GLoRy|
|George W. Hewlett High School||ElectroPositive|
|Raffles Girls’ School||Whale-y Pumped Up|
|Poolesville High School||The Green Team|
|St Joseph’s Institution International School; Anglo-Chinese Junior College; Ngee Ann Polytechnic||Cascade by Energe|
|Colégio Luso-Francês High School||ECOFilt|
|Mainland High School||Pla-TASTIC Buccaneers|
|Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary)||Team Indicum|
|National Junior College||Squeaky Clean 2|
|Anderson Junior College||The Last Watt|
|National Junior College||RIP Plastic Waste|
|Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary)||Team Energisers|
|Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary)||Team Flux|
|National Junior College||The Transformers|
|High School “Josif Josifovski” Gevgelija||Young Researches|
|Biotechnology High School||Inside the Box|
|King Faisal University||Dowa AlSehly|
|Raffles Institution (Y5-6)||Team Navitas|
|National Junior College||Fluffy Chihuahuas|
Proofread your paper? Check!
Submitted your paper by deadline? Check!
So…Now what? What’s next?
Well, the 120+ judges have been given their assignments and with 235 papers submitted, the judges will be busy! Some of them have been given seven papers to read and score! But this is the part nobody likes…Waiting.
The judges will have their scores in by the 8th of April and we’ll be culling them down to the top 30 semi-finalists. From those, the top 10 will be reviewed and once those have been approved by the administrators, they will be named the Finalists. The Semi-finalist announcement will be made April 11th and those selected to the final will be made April 18th.
Now if any of the selected final teams cannot make the Final, one of the 20 semi-finalists teams may be elevated to a position in the final. Teams ranking in places 11-15 may be named as Alternate Finalists. So if your team isn’t initially selected, don’t get too dejected, there is always the possibility of taking a team’s place who can’t go. Which brings me to the cruise.
If your team is selected to the final, at least ONE of your team members must be present to present your prototype and paper to our panel of judges. If your team is in the final, you will be awarded $200 (USD) to help with your prototype after all required paperwork is submitted to the administrators. No more than $200 (USD) may be spent, although donations of materials are allowed. Team leaders must maintain a record of receipts and donations.
Tom Petty once sang, “…the waiting is the hardest part…” So, that’s what’s next. Waiting. Believe me, I know you probably hate waiting as much as I do. Until the 8th of April, keep at your schoolwork, hang out with your friends, contact me if you want. But, until then, we’re in this together…waiting.