Bright Ideas STEM from Today’s Youth

Verma Hygiene Mister Selected As Winner In 2016 Bright Ideas STEM from Today’s Youth

Hannah Verma from Longwood, Florida will work with product and technology innovation firm Astralis Group to potentially make her Bright Idea a reality!

About Bright Ideas

We know that today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders. They’re also tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, innovators and inventors. They are OUR best hope for a brighter future. They are the ones who can help create new opportunities for our local economies to flourish. So, to continue to cultivate the changes our youth can inspire and to encourage their creativity to develop new ideas, Bright House Networks is proud to sponsor Bright Ideas STEM from Today’s Youth.

This multi-state competition has challenged high school students to dream up the coolest inventions to make their own life, community or even the world more awesome and to show how STEM – that’s science, technology, engineering and math – can bring their idea to life!

Meet the Finalists

Is your creative genius aspiring to unfold?

Bright House Networks is committed to helping today’s youth develop into innovative entrepreneurs who can help change the world! We’re also fostering leadership experiences for our youth, so they can help build local economies and create emerging technologies.

Through Bright Ideas STEM from Today’s Youth, five finalists competed head-to-head on TV in front of a studio audience in Orlando, Florida, where an expert panel of judges selected one Grand Prize winner. The BIG winner – Hannah Verma, Longwood, FL – will have the chance to work with product and technology innovation firm Astralis Group – which could help her dream potentially be realized!

Bright House Bright Ideas Contest About Photo

How to Participate

Bright House Bright Ideas Contest How to Enter Illustration

Thank you for your interest in entering the Bright Ideas STEM from Today's Youth competition. Unfortunately, the entry period is officially closed.

Sign up for the Bright Ideas Newsletter below for updates on the program, and check back here during the summer for details on next year’s competition.


Bright House Bright Ideas Contest Prize Illustration

We chose five finalists from our service areas throughout the country. These students traveled to Orlando, Florida, and competed head-to-head on TV in front of a studio audience. An esteemed panel of judges selected one winner: Hannah Verma, Longwood, Florida with her Bright Idea “Verma Hygiene Mister.” Hannah will have the opportunity to work with product and technology innovation firm Astralis Group – which could help her dream or idea potentially be realized!

Two weeks after the finals, Hannah will begin working with Astralis Group. During the following three months, Astralis Group will develop a virtual prototype and business plan and present her with:

  • A 10-page pitch presentation
  • A video/virtual prototype/rendering
  • A roadmap with next 3-4 steps
  • A list of potential partners (with one or more introductions)

The project will be conducted at Astralis Group’s offices in Orlando, Florida. Bright House Networks will send the Grand Prize Winner, along with one adult, to meet twice with the firm during the three-month period.

Bright Ideas Institute

Bright House Bright Ideas Institute Download Illustration

Dear Educators and Afterschool Staff!

Want to get your students’ inner genius going? Looking for a potentially life-changing educational experience that can inspire your students to create new and emerging technologies, build their local economies, and develop their leadership skills? We put together a few ideas and a list of resources that can help you focus your students on using STEM to solve some of today’s challenges. Whether big or small, your students’ Bright Ideas can change the world!

Download the Bright Ideas Institute Kit to get the tools and instructions you need to participate. This kit includes:

  • A Description of the Competition
  • A List of Programming Networks with STEM-Related Content
  • Some Suggested Activities for Generating Bright Ideas Entries

Kit Download

Download our videos to show highlights from last year's competition and a commercial that many schools are playing during their morning announcements to help get kids excited!

  • Bright Ideas Promotional Video to Inspire Your Students Ideas
  • Bright Ideas Commercial to Build Excitement about the program


Promotional Video Commercial


Contest Rules

Bright House Bright Ideas Contest Rules Illustration

Five finalists were chosen from throughout Bright House Networks service areas:

  • Bakersfield, California
  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Tampa Bay, Florida
  • Central Florida (Orlando) - Grand Prize Winner

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Starts on July 1, 2015 at 9:00 AM ET and ends on January 4, 2016 at 9:00 PM ET. Open to legal residents of the following Bright House Networks service areas: Bakersfield, CA; Birmingham, AL; Livonia, Novi, Farmington, Farmington Hills and Redford, MI; Indianapolis, IN; Tampa Bay, FL; and Central FL who are students in Public, Private or Parochial High Schools or are home schooled, who are 14 years old or older, except employees of Sponsor, their immediate families and those living in the same household. Void outside specified service areas and where prohibited. A.R.V. of finalist prizes (6) $3,000 per student and grand prize (1) $4,000 per student: Sponsor: Bright House Networks.

Judging Criteria

Bright House Bright Ideas Contest Voting & Judging Information

Regional judging events were held during January 2016. The Finalist Pitch Event took place on Wednesday , March 2, 2016, at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, Florida.

All entries were judged on the following criteria:

  • Creativity (measure of idea’s originality and measure of whether it takes on a new problem, or approaches a familiar problem in a fresh, imaginative new way) – 40%
  • Feasibility (likelihood that the science, technology, engineering and math tools the user has selected to “power” his or her idea can actually make it work) – 30%
  • Usefulness (likelihood that there is a need for the idea, or that a person/professional field would find it helpful and valuable) – 30%

Judging Events

Bright House Bright Ideas Contest Voting & Judging Information

Local & Regional Judging Events

Selected student entries will be chosen to advance to local and regional judging events. During these events, students will have the chance to practice their presentation, receive coaching, and pitch their idea to a panel of local experts.

Tampa Bay, Florida:

  • Thursday, January 14 (4-9pm) - Manatee County Local Judging at Manatee Technical College, 6305 State Road 70 East, Bradenton, FL 34203
  • Tuesday, January 19 – Regional Judging Event at MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry), 4801 E. Fowler Avenue - Tampa, FL 33617

Central Florida:

  • Wednesday, January 27 (6-9pm) – Regional Judging Event at Orlando Science Center, 777 E. Princeton Street, Orlando, FL 32803

Bakersfield, California:

  • Thursday, January 28 (4-6pm) – Regional Judging Event at California State University, Bakersfield, 9001 Stockdale Highway, Bakersfield, CA 93311

Indianapolis, Indiana:

  • Thursday, January 28 (5-8pm) - Regional Judging Event at Marian University, 3200 Cold Spring Road, Indianapolis, IN 46222

Meet the Judges

Leslie Hielema

Vice President of the Orlando Center, Florida Institute of Technology

Leslie has a unique combination of technology development and business expertise. Her experience ranges from global product development to community entrepreneurial ecosystems to top secret battlefield software. As Vice President of the Orlando Center at Florida Institute of Technology, she focuses on growing the impact and presence of the university across Central Florida. Leslie holds master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering and Management, a bachelor of science in Electrical Engineering, and a pilot’s license.

Scott Faris

CEO, AeroSonix, Inc.; Founder & CEO, NanoZyme, Inc.; Orlando EDC Board Member

Scott is an experienced serial entrepreneur with more than two decades of operating, venture-financing and commercialization experience, involving more than 20 start-up and emerging-growth technology companies. Scott is Founder and CEO of NanoZyme, Inc., a nano-therapeutics company as well as AeroSonix, Inc, a medical device company developing next generation drug delivery platforms. He also serves as a Venture Partner in IDEA Fund, a Durham, NC based venture capital fund focused on providing early stage investment capital to technology companies in the Southeastern United States.

Mitchel J. Laskey

Managing General Partner, FAN Fund/Managing Director, MJL Advisors

Mitchel has a 40-year record of success, having held senior executive positions at public and private entrepreneurial technology companies in the healthcare, security, banking, social media and transportation industries. He is Managing General Partner of FAN Fund, an angel capital fund focusing on growth-oriented, technology and life science companies. He is also Managing Director of the strategic advisory firm MJL Advisors. Mitchel is a licensed CPA in Florida and cofounded and served for many years as a Director of CNLBank. He counts among his professional honors the award title of Entrepreneur of the Year, University of South Florida College of Business Administration.

Leo Cloutier

Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, Bright House Networks

Leo has held a broad set of roles in various aspects of engineering, technology and business development in both startup and large company environments over the last 25 years. As a senior leader at Bright House Networks, he has been responsible for driving corporate strategy and building businesses driven by emerging technologies. His tireless work developing new Internet, wireless, voice and video services has helped to position Bright House Networks as an industry leader in the fast changing cable industry. He holds both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in electrical engineering.

Community Friends of STEM

Bright Ideas STEM from Today’s Youth is a multi-state contest that would not be possible without the support of our local community. Throughout the past year, these businesses and nonprofits worked with us to engage student innovators and encourage them to submit their Bright Ideas:


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