The Butler Tech Information Technology program at Ross High School has been named one of 10 national finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest. The nationwide competition challenges students to use science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) skills to address an important issue in their community.
The Butler Tech/Ross team developed a School Safety System to provide early warning for a range of emergencies to first responders and school administrators. They will travel to New York City on Tuesday, March 14 to live-pitch their product to a panel of judges, hoping to be named one of three national grand prize winners and receive $150,000 in technology for their school and a $20,000 donation to a local non-profit of their choice.
The School Safety System is entirely student-designed. The computer app will alert authorized users to a number of threats to student safety. It interfaces with gunfire detection software to pinpoint the location of an incident on a school map and send alerts to first responders and school officials. It can also interface with metal detectors to provide alerts when sensors are activated.
The system also allows users to manage emergencies such as bomb threats, fire and weather events. The functionality will allow teachers to report missing students to authorities. The students are already working on forming a company to begin offering the system as a commercial product.
The Butler Tech/Ross team was inspired to create the safety app in response to a recent school shooting in a neighboring school district and a safety-related lockdown on their own campus. They created project management teams to design their solution. Initial development was conducted in the Computer & Mobile Apps and Web Design classes. Security framework and testing was conducted by the Network Security class.
The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest was created in 2010 to encourage innovation while addressing the technology gap in classrooms across the country. Each year, the competition inspires more active, hands-on teaching and learning among schools nationwide. Since 2004, Samsung has provided more than $19 million in technology to more than 1,000 public schools in the United States.