Once judging wrapped up for the 2022 Regeneron ISEF finalists, those competing in person and virtually were ready to take on other challenges. The Society for Science and Regeneron invited finalists to sign up for two exciting events — a Mini Hackathon hosted by the non-profit XdHacks Mini and the #STEM4All Create-A-Thon run by Regeneron.
During both events, teams brainstormed solutions for significant challenges impacting society and our planet, including topics such as climate change, Parkinson’s disease and vaccine misinformation. Finalists had a lot of fun and showcased their abilities to collaborate, innovate and think outside the box to further STEM.
Adapted to fit a shorter time frame than a typical hackathon or codefest, the mini hackathon run by XdHacks Mini allowed finalist groups — both in-person and virtual — to build entrepreneurial skills and work together while designing business solutions to address climate change. Each team created a one-page pitch highlighting their ideas and new understanding of what skills are needed to become a successful entrepreneur. In addition to a virtual workshop with Mary Lynn Realff, an Associate Professor at Georgia Tech, where finalists learned how to effectively work as a team, the groups gained valuable insights from Tech Stars’ Melissa Pegus and Georgia Tech professor, Matthew Realff, who spoke at the event. The teams had the opportunity to submit their one-pagers for feedback from environmental scientists; top submissions will be recognized and publicized on May 21.
While some finalists worked on business solutions to fight climate change, others focused on science communication skills and creative ways to make STEM information more accessible during the Regeneron #STEM4All Create-A-Thon. From TikToks to YouTube tutorials and even a rap song about vaccines, finalists worked in groups to explain how gravity works, why your hair turns gray and debunk common science fair misconceptions. Once their creations were complete, the finalists shared their videos, songs and PowerPoints with the audience, allowing them to introduce themselves and explain their creations. Henry Wei, Head of Development Innovation at Regeneron, who guided the session, stressed the importance of effective science communication at a time when the infodemic – a misinformation epidemic – has become problematic for society.
Interested in learning about more 2022 Regeneron ISEF events? Read about and watch panel discussions featuring STEM leaders here, learn about this year’s finalists here, and watch the Grand Awards Ceremony here.