Panther Team Receives First Place Award in 2021 SySTEMic Challenge
PCCC’s B2B Panthers received the First Place award in the third annual Show Your STEM Innovation Challenge (sySTEMic), held virtually on March 24, 2021. The Panthers team included Kelly Franco, Judiht Hilares, Edwin Lotero, and Jocelyn Romano. They competed against seven other college teams who took on this year’s sySTEMic challenge to develop a practical solution for the lack of clean drinking water that exists even today in many parts of the world, including the U.S.
During the ZOOM event, each team had five minutes to present their innovation to the panel of judges which included Lori Dars, Director of I-Corps ,The National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps,at Rutgers; Mark DeGuzman, who is trained in physics and has been involved in I-Corps; and Dr. Connie Pascal, a professor of Communications at Rutgers who offers innovation opportunities to students in her field. ( I-Corps is a program that helps student entrepreneurs bring their product to market)
The Panthers impressed the judges with their Esper-Aqua filtration system, an innovation that addresses microbial contamination in water and also includes a unique component lacking in conventional filtration systerms- a biosensor that can test water quality in real time. The Esper-Aqua, Panthers said, offers a practical, affordable, and sustainable option for countries struggling to maintain clean drinking water.
Using a small village outside of Peru as the model location, the team demonstrated how the Esper-Aqua could effectively provide a supply of clean drinking water to the 100 households in the village. They employed videos as well as diagrams and animations to illustrate their points, with each team member taking a turn to explain the construction, function, and benefits of their filtration system. The judges commended the Panthers for the detail and quality of their presentation.
Congratulations to the Panthers, to their faculty advisors, Dr. Kala Mayur, and Professor Wayne Warrick, and to Professor Thom van Aken, project director of the Northern New Jersey Bridges to the Baccalaureate (B2B) Alliance which co-sponsors SySTEMic with GS-LSAMP (Garden State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participaton). Both organizations support increasing opportunities in STEM fields for minority participants.
Article written by Linda Telesco
Image by Page Saunders