Moss Point Advances in $2 Million National STEM Contest

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Out of nearly 3,000 applications for the 2017 – 2018 contest, the Moss Point Career & Technical Education (CTE) center, located in Moss Point, MS., was named one of the nation’s 255 state finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, a program that encourages students to solve real-world issues in their community using classroom skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Mr. Billy Carroll’s Robotics Engineering program and Mr. Ignacio Lopez-Morales’s Aquaculture program were chosen based on their joint proposal to use STEM skills to address water pollution. To tackle this project, their students will create a bio-filter to mitigate the pollutants flowing into the bayou.  

“As a director, my job is to find innovative programs and think towards the future of where these industries are heading and try to bring that here to the CTE center to prepare our kids for the jobs they’ll have tomorrow”, says Career & Technical Education Director, Dr. Durand Payton. 

As one of five state finalists in Mississippi, the Moss Point CTE will now have the opportunity to advance in the competition for classroom technology prizes.  Dr. Durand Payton, Mr. Carroll & Mr. Lopez are currently working on an Activity Plan outlining how their students will execute this project. The second phase of the project will entail the team working and finalizing plans on how the project will benefit the community and its local water sources. If they are named the Mississippi State Winner in December, the Moss Point Career & Technical Education center will receive a $25,000 Samsung technology package. The 10 national finalists will attend a pitch event for the winner announcement in early April. 

Dr. Payton states if they win they will re-invest the money back into the programs in hopes that it will bring attention and expose the CTE center and its students. “A lot of people are not aware of the CTE center and all we do”, says Dr. Payton. “Winning this would give us an opportunity to showcase the students at Moss Point’s CTE center and highlight all of what they can and will do”, says Dr. Payton. 

For more information about about this project, please contact Dr. Durand Payton at [email protected]  


Written by Billy Carroll

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