Davis, WV – The National Youth Science Academy is thrilled to announce the second annual BRITE Challenge, a creative thinking event celebrating young STEAM leaders as we are “Bringing Rural Imagination to Technology and Entrepreneurship!”

This year’s event will showcase the best and brightest ideas generated by local West Virginia students as part of our ongoing MakerSpace project. Students will be able to interact with judges about their projects, and prizes will be awarded. The event will take place on May 12th, 2023, at the Davis Campus of the National Youth Science Academy.

Last year, our MakerSpace project provided maker equipment such as 3D printers, CNC routers, drones, coding robots, and renewable energy demonstration kits to schools and libraries in Grant, Hardy, Hampshire, Mineral, Pendleton, and Tucker counties. This year, any West Virginia teacher is encouraged to register their class to showcase their students’ hard work.

“Through the BRITE Challenge, we aim to encourage young STEAM leaders to think creatively and innovatively to address local issues and problems with rural innovation,” said Dr. Ryan Haupt, Executive Director of the National Youth Science Academy. “We are thrilled to bring together students, educators, and administrators for a day of learning, sharing ideas, and celebrating innovation.”

The BRITE Challenge is open to 5th-12th grade students and educators. Students will create a business idea, invention, or other fascinating project using STEAM innovation, technology, and creativity to address a local issue or problem. A keynote speaker will inspire the students, and a panel of expert judges will provide feedback on projects, ultimately selecting a grand prize-winning classroom. However, no one will go home empty-handed, as fun swag and prizes featuring the event’s mascot, the BRITEbot, will be distributed.

“Eastern is thrilled to support the second annual BRITE Challenge! This event is a wonderful opportunity for West Virginia students to dive into their creativity and develop practical solutions to real-world problems. We hope that the BRITE challenge assists these young learners in exploring the subjects they are interested in and helps them build the confidence they need to become the next generations of leaders in STEAM,” said Maya Paul, the Agriculture Innovation Program Coordinator at Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College. 

The event is free, but registration is required, with lunch and event t-shirts provided to participants. For more information about the BRITE Challenge and to register, please visit britechallenge.nysacademy.org.

The mission of the National Youth Science Academy is to inspire lifelong engagement and ethical leadership in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, arts, and related professions through its proven educational model for mentoring, challenging, and motivating students. By building communities among students, teachers, and professionals, NYSAcademy programs complement, broaden, and enhance the traditional school curriculum leading to careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and related professions.