Community Center to Host 4th Annual UNF MedNexus Innovation Challenge

For the fourth consecutive year, the City of Palm Coast is set to host the MedNexus Innovation Challenge, a collaboration with the University of North Florida. The event features teams of regional high school students with finalists selected from Flagler and Duval counties, who will pitch their creative solutions for tackling Florida’s evolving healthcare needs and challenges. Presentations are then evaluated by a panel of judges, which is comprised of industry leaders, corporations, and government officials. For this year’s challenge, the students will be faced with finding innovative means of taking on social media addiction in adolescents.

This year’s iteration of the challenge will see four teams participating in the event, each of whom will bring a unique perspective to solving the relatively new phenomenon of social media addiction, which is applicable to anyone who utilizes social media applications for longer than three hours per day. Research points to social media addiction during adolescence being a cause for concern, noting its ability to negatively affect components an individual’s life, including relationships, sleep, and academic performance.

“The UNF MedNexus Innovation Challenge gives students the opportunity to work together to develop creative solutions to real-world challenges,” said Julie Williams Merten, Ph.D., Associate Dean at UNF MedNexus. “We have been so impressed by the students and their innovative ideas and professionalism – it has been a delight to work with them.”

This year’s 1st Place and 2nd Place teams will take home $1,000 and $750 in scholarship prize money per team member, respectively. The 3rd Annual MedNexus Innovative Challenge will take place on Thursday, April 11 from 5 pm-7 pm at the Palm Coast Community Center, located at 305 Palm Coast Pkwy NE.

View a video preview of the event featuring one of the participating teams and their coach here: