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Back-to-Back Biotrek Wins!

For the second year in a row, NEIA brought home first-place in this prestigious competition.

An Unstoppable Team

Some more hardware to add to the NEIA trophy case!

For the second year in a row, a team of students from NEIA has been awarded first place in the prestigious BioTrek Championship, a competition focused on advanced technology, entrepreneurship, and advanced manufacturing. The NEIA team—comprised of 11th graders Lila, Max H., and Milena—impressed judges with their design for a tissue-engineered medical product to address the symptoms of Endometriosis.

BioTrek, a program of the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI), challenges student teams across the country to develop solutions to real-world problems in the field of biotechnology. Teams are judged on their creativity, innovation, scientific understanding, and ability to communicate their ideas effectively.

“This program is an amazing opportunity for our students to design for future impact, present in front of industry experts, and learn how to address hard-hitting questions in real-time,” said Tim McCauley, a NEIA science teacher who advised the students.

“I walked into this class with a very fixed mindset,” Lila said, “not really believing that I would make it very far in class because I don’t consider myself a ‘STEM student.’ We were so proud of ourselves to even win and be the school finalists, and then we just kept going further than we ever thought we would.”

Max H. emphasized the importance of perseverance and following your passion. “We almost gave up and switched to a different idea,” he said. “Our mentors said our Endometriosis idea wouldn’t work because there wasn’t enough research. But we trusted our gut and did what we thought would make the most impact.”

Like Lila, NEIA doesn’t usually think of itself as a STEM school. But given our students’ recent success in STEM fields—a rookie Robotics team making it to Worlds, another Biotrek win—we’re proud that we are fostering a community of creativity, innovation, and passion for science.

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After our first full week into summer, we want to look back on a year-long project that yielded impressive results for three of our amazing rising 12th graders.

This past fall, NEIA 11th graders pitched products that could add value to people’s lives by curing diseases or ailments. This is part of the BioTrek Program: a joint initiative by ARMI (Advanced Regenerative Medical Institute) and BioFabUSA. Students pitched their amazing ideas to Tim McCauley, their peers, and a panel of judges made up of NEIA staff members. 

Throughout these presentations, our students walked through all phases of the Biotrek journey. First, identifying a problem. Second, engineering a solution using bio-manufacturing techniques. In the third phase, they developed a business and financial model for their product. The final phase was this event: pitching to their peers and judges. They are trying to solve real medical issues, such as endometriosis, chronic lung disease, color blindness, and osteogenesis (just to name a few). 

The winners moved on to the Final Presentations judged by representatives from ARMI and Biofab, which decided
who would represent NEIA against other schools in the Biotrek Championship. The winning group chosen to go to the championship was Endopexy, created by Milena, Lila, and Max H.

Milena, Lila, and Max’s hard worked paid off as they were the winning team of the championships. We are so proud of these three innovators for working hard the whole year and being recognized in such a highly competitive program.

This project-based learning program continues to be a very valuable experience for our innovators. You can clearly see the intersection of subjects like science, math, entrepreneurship, and communications. It is the perfect example of how integrated academics lead to exciting projects and connections.

#NEIA #BioTrek #Innovation #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #integration
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This weekend, three of our 11th grade students: Vicki, Owen, and Langston, won first place at the Entrepreneurship for All - EforAll All Ideas Pitch Competition for their idea around the NEXTGEN Summit, a conference that Langston initiated this spring at NEIA.

Owen explains the idea to execution as follows, "My mother is an alum of the Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Business Accelerator Program. One night while scrolling Instagram, she found a post by EforAll about an All Ideas Pitch Competition happening. She sent me the post at 11:20 p.m. and we were signed up for the event by 12:15 a.m. A few weeks later we were selected to table at the event with the potential of being able to participate in the final pitch competition. We landed a spot in the pitch competition, and it was a huge success as we not only won the first place prize of $1000, but also won the Fan Favorite prize for an additional $500. We were by far the youngest attendees at the event and were pitching with people who were already well removed from college."

We are so proud of our innovators and commend them for their efforts to not only seek new opportunities each and every day but to thrive within them.

#NEIA #PitchCompetition #EForAll #NEXTGENSummit #NEXTGEN #FutureOfEducation #Innovation #Entrepreneurship
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That’s a wrap! We will see you soon, innovators. We miss you already.

#LastDayOfSchool #Summer #NEIA #innovators #summerbreak
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