TYLER, Texas (Jan. 13, 2020) – The University of Texas at Tyler announced the winners on Monday that that the UT Tyler University Academy – Tyler won the East Texas High School Idea Challenge, conducted by the University for students in grades 9 – 12. High schools across East Texas were invited to participate in the tournament-style event, which challenged students to come up with innovative solutions for problems or start-up ideas for untapped markets. Eleven teams participated in the competition held Monday at the Soules College of Business.
“This is our second year to hold this competition, and we continue to be impressed by the innovative talent displayed,” said Dr. Laura Jackson, assistant vice president for government and community affairs. The winning team, consisting of Mitchell Campbell, Haden Lafayette, John Kinser, Theoron Stroud and Alejandro Mejias from the UT Tyler University Academy in Tyler, took the top spot for a proposed better learning management system. The team was awarded $2,500 for their school, and each team member received a $5,000 scholarship to attend UT Tyler.
The runners-up were Evan Chen, Emily Kupetz and Ethan Huynh, UT Tyler University Academy – Palestine. This team was awarded $1,000 for their school, and each member received a $2,500 scholarship to UT Tyler. The competition was held in two rounds, with teams submitting videos of their elevator pitches during the first round. A panel of judges selected top teams from the first round to prepare launch plans for presentation during the final round.