Combating Covid-19 Innovation Challenge open

TO challenge and strengthen high schoolers’ research and critical thinking skills, a global online competition was developed by the New York Academy of Sciences.

This comes after the Covid-19 outbreak, forcing schools around the world to close.

The Combating Covid-19 Innovation Challenge encourages students aged between 13 and 17 to work independently or to collaborate with peers through a virtual platform.

The challenge was launched as a way to help young people continue learning while their schools may be closed due to the health emergency, said New York Academy of Sciences STEM Talent Programmes vice-president Chenelle Bonavito Martinez.

“We hope that encouraging young people to focus on solutions might aid them in managing stress in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.”

Participants must design technology-based solutions to slow the spread of the disease.

Solutions must be submitted by May 6 and winners will be announced in June.

Participants who have signed up may join the Academy’s online collaboration platform, Launchpad, where they can use the platform to form teams, collaborate on designs and present their ideas.

Students will also have access to learning resources and opportunities to connect with experts.

The grand prize winner will receive a US$500 (RM2,217.70) travel scholarship to attend the Global STEM Alliance Summit at the Academy’s headquarters in New York City, while the top three winners will receive memberships in the New York Academy of Sciences and gain acceptance into its Junior Academy.

“Research shows that innovation challenges increase student engagement, deepen their knowledge of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) content, and foster 21st-century skills like critical thinking, creativity and communication.

“These skills are becoming increasingly important in 21st-century workplaces — across STEM and non-STEM industries.

“In many classrooms, students have limited opportunities to practise these skills, so innovation challenges can play an important role in rounding out a student’s education, ” said the Academy’s chief learning officer Hank Nourse.

The Academy has run innovation challenges since 2010, in fields of science, technology, and news headlines. To sign up for the Combating Covid-19 Challenge, visit

Additionally, the Academy will hold a free webinar on April 22 on new updates and science-based information on the Covid-19 outbreak.

Speakers include Dr Michael Osterholm, an expert on epidemic preparedness and response.

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