OPHS State Finalist in STEM Contest

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Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)

Osbourn Park High School was named one of five state finalists for the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest. The nationwide competition challenges students in grades 6-12 to show how science, technology, engineering, and math can be applied to help improve their local communities. Students are tasked with identifying and addressing an issue and working to solve it through classroom collaboration.

Dr. Karen Dalfrey and her Project Lead the Way Biomedical students submitted their project idea addressing the issue of overcrowded hospital emergency rooms. They researched potential solutions and procedural improvements that might decrease the time it takes for patients to receive medical care services.

Pinpinut Earl, a junior at Osbourn Park High School, along with classmates and team members Elysia Chandler (junior), Jordann Carter (junior), Caliyah Ash (junior), and Aima Ahmad (senior) came up with the idea to automate check-in, collection of vital signs, and triage for patients arriving in emergency rooms, as well as automated specimen transport from the collection site to the lab where tests are run. They presented their ideas to their classmates and proposed that their innovations would be feasible ways to decrease the time patients wait to be seen by hospital staff, and reduce the time non-critical patients wait to be triaged, the time doctors and patients wait to receive test results, and the time patients are released from the emergency room.

“Our emergency room triage project led the way for inspiring us to enter the competition,” said Chandler. “Having this realistic idea and working concomitantly with classmates really helped us experience what our futures in science and medicine could be like.”

While the team was not selected to move on to the national finalist phase of the competition, Dalfry is proud of her students for earning state finalist status. As state finalist, Dalfry was awarded a Samsung tablet for use in her classroom.

“This was an assigned project for students in my Project Lead the Way Biomedical Innovations class,” said Dalfry. “These students in particular had very innovative ideas to help with a very real-world problem.”

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