Editor’s note: WRAL Local Tech Wire has added another feature with the launch of the "Innovation Exchange." Noah Garrett, former executive director of communications for the North Carolina Technology Association, is a creative spirit, from writing music to news stories, who recently launched NGC Communications. The focus of the Innovation Exchange is just that – creating a Web community through which people can exchange ideas and foster creativity.

Participate in the Exchange. Send ideas and feedback to: noah@thinkngc.com

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – The “Start Doing For STEM Contest” has been inspiring over the past few weeks, and it has definitely generated a grassroots buzz around the region promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) initiatives. Now, it’s time for you to judge our winner.

In the collaborative spirit of The Innovation Exchange, we are pleased to bring you the top six finalists. At first, we were going to narrow it down to three, but each one of these are worthy of consideration.

The object of the contest is to develop a logo and branding concept to coincide with a national media campaign this summer boosting STEM awareness. The winner will receive one month of free consulting services through NGC Communications and a WRAL Local Tech Wire prize pack.

Overall, we received 45 submissions. In the "On The Web" section of this post, you will find the six finalists. Your job now is to pronounce the winner. Submit your winning choice via email at noah@thinkngc.com. The overall winner will be crowned next week, so time is of the essence.

Thank you all for your wonderful ideas and support. I’m excited about the possibilities of promoting the importance of STEM education, especially by means of user-generated content and graphics. This may have been just a simple and fun contest, but this is a real issue that needs our help immediately.

The nature of today’s globalized workforce and the needs of our industries have changed and continue to change daily. An understanding of scientific and mathematical principles, a working knowledge of computer hardware and software, and the problem-solving skills developed by courses in STEM are necessary for most jobs.

So, please participate and help choose our winner.

This is just the beginning.