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AICPA anoints Alabama students Project Innovation winners

April 2, 2012

A team from Hoover High School in Hoover, Ala., were crowned winners of the American Institute of CPAs’ Project Innovation: The Start Here, Go Places Competition of Creative Excellence, which challenged students to submit new feature ideas for the Start Here, Go Places website.

The two-student team, named The Might Morphin’ Flower Arrangers, received a $3,000 scholarship, to be split, and a $3,000 educational grant for their school. Comprised of students JaJuan Carter and Jordan Middleton, with Madge Gregg as faculty advisor, the team presented the idea of converting an existing board game into an online accounting game.

The team’s goal for this educational game was to increase engagement, the number of teenage visitors to the site, and the time they spend there.

“The AICPA is dedicated to educating high school students throughout the U.S. about the amazing opportunities a career in accounting can offer,” said Heather L. Bunning, AICPA’s senior manager of high school and community college initiatives, in a statement. “We appreciate all the students who submitted their ideas to the competition and their interest in helping us ensure Start Here, Go Places is the best possible resource for students exploring the accounting and the CPA profession.”

A panel of judges selected the top 10 teams from those that submitted to compete in the finals. The written proposals of the finalists’ teams were posted to the website where the public voted for their favorite. After this vote, the finalists presented their ideas via Skype to the final-round judge who evaluated both the idea and presentation to make the decision.

“I was honored to judge the final round of the Project Innovation Competition and I thought all the finalists had impressive, well thought out ideas,” stated Aurmaudra T. Bradley, senior internal controls analyst at Cummins, Inc. “The winning presentation stood out through their use of visuals, their enthusiasm for their proposal and their ability to sell their idea - they didn't just present the facts, they really made me believe it would work.”

The second place team also hailed from Hoover High School, and was awarded a $2,000 scholarship to be split among team members and a $2,000 educational grant for their school. Third place, a $1,000 scholarship and $1,000 grant went to students from Caddo Mills High School in Caddo Mills, Tex.

More information about the finalists and their submissions is available here.


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