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NEWS RELEASE: ITEEA Announces Winners of Second REACH Challenge

February 26, 2021

NEWS RELEASE

 

STUDENTS ACROSS U.S. CHANGE LIVES IN THEIR COMMUNITIES BY USING THEIR STEM SKILLS TO HELP PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS IN AN MPACTFUL, INNOVATIVE DESIGN PROJECT

 

 

Award Recipients Announced in ITEEA’s REACH Challenge –

A Nationwide Adaptive and Assistive Technology Competition

 

WATCH HEARTWARMING HIGHLIGHTS OF THE TEAMS' SUBMISSIONS

 
 

RESTON, VA, February 26, 2021 – Students from across the United States discovered today that their REACH Challenge projects have earned awards through the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA).

REACH Challenge is an impactful Adaptive & Assistive Technology (AT) design-thinking project for middle school, high school, and college level STEM programs. Teachers are provided with lesson plans and activities on Empathy, User-Centered Design, Prototyping and more, to lead their students in using their STEM skills to REACH a member of their community who has a challenge to overcome. This innovative project shows teachers how they can help students use their STEM skills for social good, making a real-world difference in the lives of those around them.

This year’s award winners hail from across the U.S. - from New York to Hawaii. The students and teachers have described their experience as “heart-warming,” “profound,” and “invaluable.”

“This project really is life changing, not only for the person receiving the adaptive technology, but for the students and their teachers as well,” said Gavin Wood, an award-winning STEM educator who partnered with ITEEA to develop REACH Challenge. “It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

In the second year for REACH Challenge, teams created innovative assistive technology solutions, such as:

  • IEEAT (Independent Eating Ergonomic Assistive Tool) to give a young woman the independence to feed herself
  • A "Magnetic C-Clamp" to help a woman with Cerebral Palsy safely secure her crutches
  • A Talking Button Board that allows a nonverbal kindergartener to be able to express herself
  • A "Peripheral Partner" to help a woman with visual impairments be able to see behind her when using her walker

“The REACH Challenge entries were amazing even though they were dealing with the pandemic constraints as well to complete their collaborative project challenge! I was blown away by these students’ innovations,” said Steve Barbato, ITEEA Executive Director. “We couldn’t be more excited to honor these teams for their accomplishments.”

Award-winning teams will receive a special banner to display at their schools. Teams and their teachers are also invited to take part at ITEEA's 83rd Annual Conference, to be held virtually, March 22-27, 2021. Top teams will receive grants to support their STEM programs, as well as a STEM Swag Bag.

ITEEA would like to thank the MO Better Foundation for its support for the 2020 REACH Challenge. ITEEA is also accepting items to be included in the award recipients’ STEM Swag Bags. For 2021, ITEEA is looking for additional sponsors to increase awareness of REACH Challenge, and to provide more opportunities for teams to earn awards for their STEM programs. For more information, contact ITEEA at reach@iteea.org.

 

The 2020 REACH Challenge award recipients are as follows:

REACH Challenge Winner - $1,000

Olathe Northwest High School, Kansas - IEEAT (Independent Eating Ergonomic Assistive Tool)

 

REACH Challenge Second Place - $500

Kalani High School, Hawaii - Magnetic C-Clamp

 

Finalists – STEM Swag Bag

State College Area High School - Pennsylvania - Talker Board and Foldable Stairs

John F. Kennedy High School - New York - The Peripheral Partner

Northern Burlington County High School - New Jersey - Multi-Use Handle

Scotch Plains Fanwood High School - New Jersey - Slanted Platform

Thomas Hunter Middle School - Virginia - The Grabber

 

ABOUT ITEEA

ITEEA represents more than 35,000 secondary technology and engineering educators in the U.S. alone who are developers, administrators, and university personnel in the field representing all levels of education. ITEEA corporate members are comprised of leading technology companies. ITEEA's mission is that "Technology and Engineering Bring STEM to Life!” ITEEA seeks to meet the professional needs and interests of members, as well as to improve public understanding of technology, innovation, design, and engineering education and its contributions.

 

Thank You to Our REACH Challenge sponsors!

 

WWW.ITEEA.ORG | ITEEA@ITEEA.ORG