Team Solar Power from County College of Morris is a finalist in the 2024 Community College Innovation Challenge

Safely and Efficiently Increasing the World’s Energy Supply


RANDOLPH, NJ: Team Solar Power from County College of Morris (CCM) was selected as one of 12 finalists in the Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC), led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF). In its eighth year, the competition seeked to strengthen entrepreneurial thinking among community college students to use science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to develop innovative solutions to real-world problems. Among the ideas teams presented this year are solutions for addressing clean water, renewable energy, HIV treatment, healthcare, fire prevention and assistive technology devices.

The CCM team, Team Solar Power, was comprised of three students: Aiden Aschoff ’24 of Oxford, who has earned his degree in mechanical engineering technology and working towards a second degree in engineering science, Malcolm Harrison ’24, of Summit, who transferred to CCM from the University of Miami and will be graduating this month with a degree in chemistry, and Elaf Mahmoud ’25, of Rockaway who is pursuing a degree in engineering science and also a degree in mechanical technology. Dr. Chung Wong, Professor of Mathematics at CCM, served as the faculty advisor and mentor.

Team Solar Power’s project, Using Molecular Solar Thermal Systems as a Solar Alternative, proposed to increase the world’s energy supply, safely and efficiently, through a molecular solar thermal system. The system is non-toxic, cost-efficient and can capture light energy as heat, and then convert stored heat as energy.

I am very proud of the work and what they have achieved so far,” said Wong. “I look forward to their performance at the national final next month.”

                Finalists will participate in an Innovation Boot Camp in Washington, D.C., on June 10-13, and meet with entrepreneurs and experts in business planning, stakeholder engagement, strategic communication and marketplace dynamics. Students have the opportunity for professional development, mentoring and coaching to build their skillset. The event will culminate in a Student Innovation Poster Session on Capitol Hill with STEM leaders and congressional stakeholders, plus a pitch presentation to determine the first, second, and third-place winning teams.


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