Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge 2016

Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge 2016

Andrew Corum, Bryan Cutlip, Jonathan Lee, Alan Salacain, and Christian Sweazie are traveling to Coco Beach, Florida to attend this year’s Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge. As student engineers and founders of MA Technologies, they are presenting their Elektrex design to a panel of experts in the Energy and Environment category of the competition.

A second team, PJC Suspension, comprised of Joey Collins and Cillian Cox also represented Middleburg Academy with their submission to the Energy and Environment category. Both teams reached the semi-finals in February and MA Technologies advanced to the final round late in March.

Both teams are part of the Engineering Design class within the STEAM curriculum at Middleburg Academy. During the design process, the teams agreed that piezoelectric would be a consciously shared foundation technology. They shared the technology to maximize their combined knowledge of it thus enabling their focus to be on product and solution design.  Piezoelectric can produce electricity in milliamp amounts when the crystals are squeezed or vibrated, just like squeezing peanut butter from a sandwich. There are still numerous technical challenges and it has been exciting to observe the student engineers learn the value of pivoting through a design process.

As a result of their hard work, MA Technologies is attending the Innovation Summit on April 20-24, 2016 at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center. As Summit Diplomats they will experience a competitive, yet intimate, environment where leading entrepreneurs, government officials, and scientists will join them in a collaborative, social forum to learn from each other and gain assistance to further develop their 21st -century technology application. They will present their product to the judges and have the opportunity to join innovative discussions about cutting edge topics in science and entrepreneurship.