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Competition 2020

The quality of the submissions this year made selecting a winner a real and exciting challenge for the judges. It’s exciting, inspiring and impressive to see the creative and cognitive ability of these students manifest in their submissions.
Sam Bach - Pioneer Prize - Recognizing Students With a Passion for Software

First Prize: $3,000 Cash Award

Sam Bach


Sam Bach, age 16, George Stevens Academy. This is Sam’s second year as a Pioneer Prize winner. This year, Sam designed, built and programmed a retro-futuristic clock incorporating cathode (nixie) tubes. Sam wowed the judges with his “impressive submission, excellent communication skills and technical execution,” which involved a “great integration of hardware and software.”


Mentor Match: Scott Miller

Ian Bowden - Pioneer Prize - Recognizing Students With a Passion for Software

Second Prize: $1,500 Cash Award

Ian Bowden


Second prize, $1,500, was awarded Ian Bowden, 15, George Stevens Academy. Ian — a first-year Pioneer Prize participant — demonstrated “great initiative and impressive growth during the competition” to create an integrated system incorporating a range of technologies and a back-end database for his cross-platform real-time transportation tracker, so that he and his friends would “never miss the bus again!”


Mentor Match: Eli Baird

Chloe Sheahan - Pioneer Prize - Recognizing Students With a Passion for Software

Third Prize: $500 Cash Award

Chloe Sheahan


Chloe, age 15, (George Stevens Academy) a second-year participant in the competition, created a web-based, personal environmental-impact tracker. According to Buck, Chloe impressed the judges with her “perseverance, gamified concept and potential for social impact.”


Mentor Match: Eric Sabo

Gavin Eaton - Pioneer Prize - Recognizing Students With a Passion for Software

Third Prize: $500 Cash Award

Gavin Eaton


Gavin, age 14, (Deer Isle High School) shined with his prototype for a custom-built fishing boat with an electric-only drivetrain. “His was an outstanding project with an incredible connection to the community.”


Contributing Advisor: Kim Larsen

Honorable Mentions: $100 Cash Award

Colton Harriman


Colton, age 14, (Deer Isle High School) was recognized for his web-accessible boat-driving simulator, demonstrating “great vision and flexibility in the face of challenges.”


Contributing Advisor: Kim Larsen

Daniel Lekan-Salami - Pioneer Prize - Recognizing Students With a Passion for Software

Honorable Mentions: $100 Cash Award

Daniel Lekan-Salami


Daniel Lekan-Salami, age 15, (George Stevens Academy), was recognized for “the sophistication of his ideas.”


Mentor Match: Scott Miller

Special Thanks

The Pioneer Prize gratefully acknowledges the contributions of so many in the community who breathe life into this initiative.

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