Student innovation competition tackles local, environmental challenges

via Scripps College of Communication

SIC hosts first hackathon Wed., Oct. 26

ATHENS, Ohio (October 24, 2016)—The Scripps Innovation Challenge, a competition asking students for innovative solutions to real-world problems, announced it is seeking solutions for local issues and an environmental concern.

“This is the fifth annual Scripps Innovation Challenge, and this year’s challenges are perhaps the most interesting yet,” said Andy Alexander, director. “There’s literally a challenge for everyone. The challenges come from media companies, nonprofits, and even one from the Diabetes Institute at Ohio University. In each case, student competitors are being asked to come up with an innovative solution that helps a company or helps society in some meaningful way.”

This year’s challenge has calls to:

  • Increase diabetes awareness in Athens and surrounding counties.
  • Find and persuade people born in Appalachia who have moved away to re-engage with their local communities.
  • Employ new ways to encourage donations to a national environmental organization.
  • Use geolocation to help an urban news station expand its audience.
  • Increase brand awareness of a new video news network among millennials.
  • Promote behind-the-camera jobs in the broadcast industry.

The Scripps Innovation Challenge (SIC) offers $18,000 in prizes and is open to all Ohio University students, both undergraduate and graduate, regardless of major. In addition, the winning team or individual for each challenge will have the opportunity to present their idea to the organization that sponsored that challenge. Previous participants have praised the SIC for its real-world focus, enabling them to add a unique problem-solving experience to their resumes.

“Although the Scripps Innovation Challenge is sponsored by the Scripps College of Communication, innovative ideas can come from all different disciplines,” said Jean Marie Cackowski-Campbell, executive coordinator. “In the past, non-Scripps students have often won prize money, including first prize. I look forward to seeing that again this year.”

This year’s competition features a streamlined application process and a later due date to make it easier than ever to enter. The initial entry process consists of three parts:

  • A three-page paper explaining the solution,
  • A visual representation of the solution – either a slide deck (max 7 slides) or an infographic explaining the idea,
  • A separate short explanation of how the solution is innovative.

“This year entries will be due the last day of fall semester (Dec. 3),” said Cackowski-Campbell. “We are even offering two hackathons this semester to help students brainstorm and bounce their ideas off of Scripps College of Communication faculty. Students can drop-in to work on crafting their SIC idea for 20-30 minutes, and by the time they leave the hackathon, they’ll have a good start to win this competition! It’s definitely not too late to consider entering the challenge.”

The first SIC Hackathon is set for Wednesday, Oct. 26 from 6-8 p.m. and the second Hackathon will be on Thursday, Nov. 10 from 6-8 p.m. Both Hackathons will take place in Schoonover Center 380. Students can drop-in anytime during this session to receive feedback and guidance on their idea.

More detailed information on the Scripps Innovation Challenge and prize breakdown can be found at:

More information on this year’s challenges and special incentives can be found at:

-From staff reports


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