The American Association of Community Colleges and the National Science Foundation announced the 12 finalists for the 2021 Community College Innovation Challenge, a competition that seeks to strengthen entrepreneurial thinking among community college students by challenging them to develop STEM-based solutions to real-world problems.

Of the 12 finalists, a team from Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke was selected to move onto the next phase, a Virtual Boot Camp in June that will have participants interact with entrepreneurs and experts in business planning, stakeholder engagement, strategic communication, and marketplace dynamics. The Boot Camp culminates in a Student Innovation Showcase with STEM leaders and Congressional stakeholders, and a pitch presentation to determine the first, second, and third-place winning teams, with cash-prize awards.

The VWCC Community Coral Project is supporting coral growth through 3D printing of porous structures made of PLA, a plastic substitute made from fermented plant starch.