AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Students at Cherry Creek’s Horizon Community Middle School have won a national competition for designing and creating an artificial limb for a veteran who lost a leg.
Their efforts were so impressive they first won a statewide contest before they were named one of the five grand prize winners at the national competition out of more than 4,100 contestants. The competition is sponsored by Samsung.
The challenge was to create a solution using STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills to solve a real problem in their community. In the 12-to-14-year-old students’ Aurora neighborhood, helping a disabled veteran made sense.
It started last spring. Students in Mel Possehl’s Engineering Our World elective STEM classroom had an idea. Their world includes nearby Buckley Air Force Base, so some kids asked to use their skills and technology to help veterans who had lost a leg.
Kyle Kelly, a Marine Corps veteran had problems with his previous prosthetic which cut the back of his legs.
Possehl was so impressed by her students she entered the project in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition. Horizon won first place in Colorado and then became one of 15 finalists in the nation before they won the competition.
The prize is $120,000 in Samsung technology. The students will take their project to the science fair at the White House on Wednesday.