High School Students to Compete for A.H. Nickless Innovation Award
(image: AGP & Associates, inc)

Following months of planning, research and development, the Top 11 teams in the 2021-22 A.H. Nickless Innovation Award competition soon will take the stage at Saginaw Valley State University to present their projects.

At stake is a share of up to $77,500 in college scholarships for students and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education grants for schools.

The competition will take place from 8:30 a.m. to approximately 3 p.m. April 23rd in the Alan W. Ott Auditorium in SVSU’s Gilbertson Hall.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Presented by the Nickless Family Charitable Foundation; The A.H. Nickless Innovation Award is an annual competition for high school students ages 13 to 18 in Bay, Midland, Saginaw and Tuscola counties.

Its goal is to inspire passion for STEM subjects and challenge students to work in teams to think innovatively and develop solutions to problems impacting the world.

Topics typically include – but are not limited to – issues related to alternative energy, healthcare, science, technology or life sciences.

During Phase One of the competition in September and October, each team identified a problem and submitted a two-page proposal for a project to address it.

Each team that advanced to Phase Two received a $1,000 grant with which to conduct its research and develop a viable solution.

Teams submitted Phase Two project reports in late March and now will deliver 10-minute presentations on their projects before a panel of judges.

High schools with teams presenting projects on April 23 are:

  • Bullock Creek High School in Midland (Bullock Creek School District), four teams
  • Freeland High School (Freeland Community School District), two teams
  • Herbert Henry Dow High School in Midland (Midland Public Schools), two teams
  • Midland High School (Midland Public Schools), one team
  • Reese High School (Reese Public Schools), one team
  • Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy (Saginaw Public School District), one team

At the conclusion of the April 23rd event, up to $42,500 in scholarships for students on the winning teams and $35,000 in STEM education grants for the winning teams’ schools will be awarded:

  • First place will receive up to five $5,000 scholarships for student team members and a $20,000 grant for the school.
  • Second place will receive up to five $2,500 scholarships for student team members and a $10,000 grant for the school.
  • Third place will receive up to five $1,000 scholarships for student team members and a $5,000 grant for the school.

A total of nearly $520,000 in scholarships and grants was awarded in the competition’s first eight years.

This includes $16,500 in scholarships awarded in fall 2020 to 11 past competitors who had competed as juniors in 2019-20, were not on one of the top three teams and were unable to compete during their senior year when the competition was canceled for 2020-21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.