AKRON, Ohio – In an effort to inspire the love for science and medicine, as well as encourage the next generation of scientists, engineers, physicians and educators, the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA) welcomed more than 100 participants at its inaugural “Bridging Engineering, Science and Technology (BEST) Medicine” Engineering Fair Saturday, at the National Inventors Hall of Fame® School in Akron.
As Northeast Ohio’s only engineering fair devoted to students interested in biomedical engineering, BEST Medicine brought together innovative students from all around Northeast Ohio to interact with one another and with nearly 40 leading scientists, engineers and educators in the medical device industry. With more than $13,000 in sponsored awards presented, each student who participated in the fair was recognized and awarded for their great achievement. The most prestigious of awards were the grand prizes that give two exceptional students, Jennifer Anand of Anand Homeschool Academy and Matt Schwenning of Saint Vincent-Saint Mary, the opportunity of a summer internship in the Medical Device Development Center at the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron.
As chair and creator of the event, Dr. Brian Davis, Vice President of ABIA’s MDDC, developed the BEST Medicine Engineering Fair for “developing a collaborative relationship between scientists and engineers from academia and industry so that we may produce novel devices from advanced biomaterials. Learning the skills and value of cooperation begins at a young age, and BEST Medicine showed students the value of working with one another for scientific discovery.”
The “BEST Medicine” Engineering Fair hosted students in grades 6-12 from 33 schools across Northeast Ohio. Science projects related to biomedical science and engineering were placed in seven categories, such as sensors/imaging and medical IT, rehabilitation, polymer medicine and biomaterials, and modeling and simulation.
Beyond promoting interactions among youth with interests in becoming physician scientists or biomedical engineers, BEST Medicine also helped educators learn how to motivate their students to get interested in science. Two teacher workshops hosted by the staff of NASA Glenn Research Center and the Ohio Polymer Strategy Council gave teachers the opportunity to learn about the impact of microgravity on the body’s cardiovascular, muscular and skeleton systems, as well as polymer applications in medical procedures. The lessons taught at the workshops will be taken back to classrooms to further inspire students to be involved in the field of science and engineering.
The BEST Medicine Engineering Fair speaks to the principles that ABIA was founded upon, which includes the aspiration to pioneer the next generation of life-enhancing and life-saving innovation that will transform Akron into an internationally recognized region of biomedical discovery, enterprise and healthcare.
Sponsors and contributors for BEST Medicine included ABIA partners and leading organizations in the field of science and medicine. Major sponsors of the event were Akron Community Foundation and The Burton D. Morgan Foundation. To view the full listing of sponsors and learn more about opportunities to help stimulate interest in the sciences for our next generation, please visit www.abiakron.org/sponsor-opportunities.
About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 55 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation is a $126 million philanthropic endowment with a growing family of more than 350 funds. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the foundation, which works to improve the quality of life in greater Akron. It accepts charitable gifts and bequests from individuals, families, organizations and corporations committed to making a difference in the community for generations to come. To date, the foundation and its funds have awarded more than $90 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. To learn more about Akron Community Foundation, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.akroncommunityfdn.org.
About the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron
The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA) – an exceptional collaboration of Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron General Health System, Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy, Summa Health System, The University of Akron and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation – is focused on patient-centered innovation and commercialization at the intersection of biomaterials and medicine. The strategic alignment of public and private support, accompanied with Akron’s rich legacy in materials science, is working to pioneer the next generation of life-enhancing and life-saving innovation that will transform Akron into a model for biomedical discovery and enterprise and move the region toward a secure economic future by accelerating the creation of more than 2,000 jobs during the next decade. For more information about ABIA, please visit www.abiakron.org.