NEAAAT Wins $10,000 Biogen SPARK Video Contest


NEAAAT is Awarded Grand Prize in Biogen Foundation Grants for Science-based SPARK Video Contest

As the presenting sponsor of the North Carolina Science Festival, the Biogen Foundation donated $10,000 to two middle schools and two high schools for their participation in this year’s online video contest which aims to SPARK a passion in science.

After receiving 29,477 votes on all eligible videos, Biogen announced eight Grand Prize-winning videos for this year’s Biogen Foundation Spark video contest – four of whom are in North Carolina.

The Biogen Foundation Spark Video Contest made an open call to Massachusetts and North Carolina middle and high schools to submit a video on the topic “Biotechnology in Your Life”. Students were encouraged to be as creative as possible while remaining accurate to the science. The Grand Prize-winning videos were chosen through public and Biogen employee voting rounds.

Eight (8) Grand Prize Winners received ten thousand ($10,000 USD), awarded in a check payable to the school and three (3) GoPro HERO5 Session video cameras. The check presentation was held Saturday, April 13, 2017 during the North Carolina Science Festival’s Triangle SciTech Expo at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Amanda Marvelle, PhD, Community Lab Manager at Biogen presented checks to each school.

NC Middle Schools:

  • Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies, “Biotechnology May Change Farming in Space”
  • Reaching All Minds STEM Academy, “Be Bold & Compost”

NC High Schools

  • Apex Friendship High School, “Genetic Disorders and Treatment Options”
  • Middle Creek High School, “Biotechnology, Enriching Our Lives”

The Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies was among the two Grand Prize Winners for North Carolina Middle Schools. NEAAAT’s video, “Biotechnology May Change Farming in Space” was produced by the school’s FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics and research team and was derived from their state award-winning presentation presented at the State FLL tournament held in Greensboro, NC in February 2019. Under the direction of NEAAAT’s Executive Director of STEM, Tonya Little; FLL team members Gabrielle Hoskins, Mikiah Powell, Ahmya Rivera, and Hailee Williamson were featured in the video.

The FLL team members and Ms. Little, along with NEAAAT CEO Andrew Harris and NEAAAT Principal TJ Worrell accepted the award. FLL team member, Gabrielle Hoskins, said that receiving the check was going beyond anything she had ever expected when she became a member of the FLL team in October 2018. She went on to say, “Winning the online public voting just shows that we (students) have the capability of reaching many with an important message. We are very big on communication skills at NEAAAT, when you develop communication skills and use the right tools you can make an impact.”

The school will use the $10,000 for its growing FIRST program which includes the middle school’s FIRST LEGO League (FLL) and the high school’s FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams. The GoPro cameras will be used in the FIRST program and possibly to film next year’s submission for the 2019-2020 Biogen SPARK video contest.