Ashland Middle School Students Win National STEM Award

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Ashland Middle School student Jenna Adkins sits with three other classmates and talks about what it was like finding out her class won $20,000 in a recent national competition. 

“They all cheered for us,” Adkins said. “It’s very exciting doing this again. It’s amazing.”

These four 8th-graders are part of a larger class that entered the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest. The idea behind it: how can teachers and student tackle real community issues? 

“A lot of us have family members who have served for our country and we know how difficult it can be to come back into the community and you’re distant from your family because you might not have seen them for a while and it might be a challenge for you because they come back with not only real would that you can see, like maybe an injury on your arm, but, also, the mental wounds that we can’t see, such as PTSD and stuff,” Maddie Aliff said. “And a lot of us know that struggle.”

They went to the drawing board, and came up with a proposal. 

“We’ve come up with the outline of what we’re going to do,” Aubree Hay said. “We’re going to make an app and a website with a repository of veterans programs so veterans can go there and then they can also apply for these programs.” 

They’ve started their search for resources and information they believe will be beneficial to veterans. 

“We’re going to go and find all of the different information that they would need and just put it in the more generalized area and make it easier for them to reach,” Gracie Madden said.  

They are using technology to benefit their community one person at a time. 

“When they can find benefits that they have and are able to get the help that they need it can be a lot easier for them,” Aliff said. 

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