Three Christopher Columbus Awards winning teams honored at the 2015 White House Science Fair

Written by on June 2, 2015 in Press Releases

New record set in 5th annual event

WASHINGTON, DC – March 23, 2015—Today, President Obama held the 5th Annual White House Science Fair recognizing, celebrating, and rewarding outstanding science, technology, mathematics and engineering (STEM) youth achievement nationwide. The Fair incorporated important science education program initiatives announced by the President and WH leadership.

With Christopher Columbus Awards (CCA) teams of middle school students exhibiting at all five consecutive annual Fairs, this year established a new Foundation record. All three CCA national award winning teams were among the 100 + students representing just 40 competitions.

The CCA Awards winning teams had each met the Foundation’s standard of excellence in community service through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by middle school and high school students nationwide. They were: the top prize Columbus Foundation Community Grant BEE AWARE team with their innovative community education effort to protect honey bee populations; the 1st Gold Medal Award team, the Pipe Savers, undertook engineering a device to prevent New England’s residential pipes from freezing; the 2nd Gold Medal Award the Hyperboloid House team for structures designed with indigenous materials to minimize the impact from earthquakes and natural disasters.

The Board of Trustees honored these teams recognizing their fulfillment of vital objectives in providing true diversity in the annual awards. They are made up of 55% young women; a mix of public, private and home schooled students and represent the span of urban to rural environments across three separate regions of the country. Equally importantly, each team has been judged in its ongoing efforts to exhibit Foundation standards as having been mentored coached and judged by science experts and practitioners volunteering from many walks of life to provide year-long nurture and training.

Two teams were featured on the South Lawn. The Bee Aware and Hyperboloid House teams attracted media and attendee interest with community solutions dynamically displayed. The Foundation extends its thanks and applause to the web-based e-Cybermission Competition, US Army, for sponsoring attendance of the Hyperboloid House team.

In preparation for the Fair, the Bee Aware team was invited to detail launch of its 2015 Community Service Awards outreach education program. Multiple North Carolina statewide bee keeper and conservation appearances have culminated in discussions planned for this afternoon with the White House Beekeeper. The teams’ active community discussions have already resulted in multiple recognition including launch of a unique Bee Aware team state License Plate.

About the Sponsor

Founded in 1992, upon the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Americas, the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation (CFF) is an independent Federal government agency. Currently operating with teams of volunteer coaches, mentors and staff, the Foundation Board seeks to grow its programs encouraging, nurturing and recognizing community service through STEM by middle and high school students.

In 2014, the Foundation suffered substantial setbacks in that its Federal Appropriations funding was not continued into FY 2016 and the ongoing phase of its extensive private sector funding raising had not come to fruition. In addition, grants and contracts with Federal agencies to provide professional competition support and CCA program funding had not yet been awarded. As of March 31, 2015 the Foundation Board has concluded federally funded operations while maintaining active volunteer driven fundraising, grant and contract efforts.

The Board is proud of multiple new and enhanced program initiatives which have been developed and are awaiting implementation. As it rebuilds resources the Foundation continues to provide nurture and support through its materials, longstanding coach and mentor leadership and national STEM promotion.

For more information about the CFF, please visit


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