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RHMS students seek to ‘solve for tomorrow’
School’s STEAM program wins state competition with app to help those who suffer from PTSD sleep safely
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RHMS STEAM students Aubree Vesey and Keishara Lampkin. Photo provided.

Students at Richmond Hill Middle School taking part in Samsung’s Solve For Tomorrow competition are using science, technology, engineering, arts and math, otherwise known as STEAM, to develop Safe Sleep, a wearable device for help those with PTSD sleeping such as soldiers and first responders.

If it sounds like rocket science, that’s because it practically is.

“Ideally, this wearable device would be able to detect when the user is having a traumatic event at night and then trigger the release of a calming scent to help calm the wearer,” said RHMS STEAM teacher Casey Collins, adding that an app will monitor the user’s heart rate to determine when to release the scent.

The project earned the school $12,000 in prizes from Samsung and made it one of 50 state winners in the competition, which “challenges U.S. public school students in grades 6-12 to explore the role science, technology, engineering and math can play in solving some of the biggest issues in their local communities.”

The win at the state level advances RHMS’s STEAM team to Samsung’s National STEM Competition, where they’ll compete against state winners from around the U.S. for a chance to be one of three national winners in May.

It’s the third straight year RHMS has placed in the competition under Collins, and Richmond Hill Middle’s Brian Soash, who heads up the school’s STEAM program – think STEM with arts added to bring creativity into the mix – said RHMS “is one of only 17 middle schools in the state of Georgia to have any STEM or STEAM certification, and we take that honor seriously.

“Our teachers and community partners go to great lengths to create experiences that show real experience of how what students learn in the classroom goes beyond our walls. We feel STEAM is incredibly important to the world our students are growing up in so they can understand that everything they experience and learn is connected together and that finding those connections helps our students be the most successful at what they do,” he said.

Collins said students involved in the project are excited to be involved in the event and “working towards the goal of helping members of our community.”

The 50 state winners were chosen from more than 300 state finalists. The program, now in it’s 13th year, is aimed at boosting “student interest and diversity in STEM, and hopefully encourage them to pursue STEM careers,” according to Ann Woo, senior director of Corporate Citizenship for Samsung Electronics America

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Richmond Hill Middle School STEAM students Lauryn Luna, top, and Carter Kisgen work on the Safe Sleep app. Photo provided.
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Arianna Kyser and Henry Upshaw. Photo provided.
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