GASCONADE COUNTY, Mo. – Three students from Owensville High School won top honors at a nationwide competition in New York for their home-intruder prevention device.
Paige Tayloe, T.C. Fisher, and Jonah Hoffman recently pitched their product during the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow event. As a result, their school received $100,000 from Samsung.
The device is small but strong and simple to use. It’s similar to a door lock but the students say it’s much stronger, preventing an intruder from breaking down a door.
“The material is an aluminum alloy, which is made to keep airplanes together through space, through turbulence,” Hoffman said. “It’s really strong.”
Their product does not have an official name just yet but it’s beyond the prototype stage. One of the devices is already installed on an Owensville High School classroom.
“We created this as not a last line of defense but something to give students a little bit of extra time to either get to safety or to prepare themselves to protect themselves,” said Tayloe.
The students are now looking into ways to mass produce it because they are getting calls from other schools expressing interest.
“We’ve had multiple schools actually ask us if we can put this into their schools,” Fisher said.
Kevin Lay, the STEM educator and physics teacher for the school, credits hard work and a willingness to collaborate with community experts on aerospace engineering, molding, casting, machining, and marketing for the students’ success.
“You know teachers don’t have all the answers all the time. When you connect them with people who do, the sky’s the limit,” he said. “Beyond the sky is the limit.”
As part of their competition victory, the students will be headed to Washington D.C. later this month to meet with lawmakers and to see if there is interest in using their device to help keep students safe in classrooms across the country.
“It could be potentially mass produced and installed on doors everywhere, absolutely,” Lay said.