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Winners Announced for the NNSA Grand Challenge Competition

December 11, 2013 - 1:23pm

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President Carlton Brown of Clark Atlanta University pictured here with winning students junior Jules Henry (Electrical Engineering/Computer Science) and sophomore KeAndra Goodman (Electrical Engineering/Physics).

President Carlton Brown of Clark Atlanta University pictured here with winning students junior Jules Henry (Electrical Engineering/Computer Science) and sophomore KeAndra Goodman (Electrical Engineering/Physics).

The first year of the Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program with the Department of Energy site Kansas City Plant was a fruitful one. The two Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program consortiums involving seven institutions sponsored science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) high school teacher training, hosted and participated in an advanced manufacturing workshop at the Kansas City Plant with local teachers and students, held summer internships, and entered teams to compete for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) student Grand Challenge Competition.

The Grand Challenge, held at the Kansas City Plant this November, aimed to further engage students from Minority Serving Institutions in engineering, additive manufacturing, and innovation through the resources and experts at the National Nuclear Security Administration. Several schools prepared for the Grand Challenge competition, spending over three weeks planning, calculating, and designing their submissions.

The winner for Best Design in the Grand Challenge went to Howard University’s Nicholas Hunter.

The winner for the best technical data packaged design, Clark Atlanta University, designed a rocket tail component for additive manufacturing, a process which allows parts to be made that are more organic and use fewer materials and heft. Mr. Jules Henry, a junior, and Ms. KeAndra Goodman, a sophomore, at Clark Atlanta University , were the project leads and earned the first place prize for the best technical data package. Both Jules and KeAndra are Dual Degree Engineering Program participants, a five-year program designed to increase the participation of African Americans in STEM through an interdisciplinary curriculum and partnerships with ten other participating institutions.

Henry and Goodman are also recipients of the Department of Energy’s  Atlanta University Center Sustainable Campus Community Initiatives funding, a program which combines the research and development capabilities of Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Guam Community College, Santa Fe Community College, and the Haskell Indian Nations University to support capacity building in alternative, renewable, and green energy technologies.

NNSA is strongly committed to engaging with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, like Clark Atlanta University, throughout their work.  In October 2012, the NNSA awarded $4 million in grants to 22 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in key STEM areas. This funding launched NNSA’s new Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program, a consortium program organized to build a sustainable STEM pipeline between six Energy Department plants and laboratories and the Historically Black College and Universities. Read more about their program and work with Minority Serving Institutions here.

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