Team Smokebusters

Grand Prize winning Stauffer Middle Schools students Oliver Palafox, Aaron Sauceda, Christopher Almaguer, and Ezekiel Leyva

LOS ANGELES (December 5, 2016) – Dare 2B Digital and the Downey Unified School District today announced the winners of the Dare 2B Digital Innovation Challenge. In this Challenge, young innovators who attend middle schools within Downey Unified were asked to form teams (2-5 students) and develop an innovative and feasible solution in one of five categories: Space & Transportation; Environment; Health & Wellness; Cybersecurity & Law Enforcement; and Media & Entertainment.

Team Pentamate with Phil Davis, Director, STEM Programs, and Dr. J

Team Pentamate with Phil Davis, Director, STEM Programs, and Dr. J

The winners were announced at the Dare 2B Digital Innovation Celebration held at the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey, Calif., on Saturday, December 3, 2016. A distinguished panel of judges, comprised of experts in the categories, reviewed the presentation from each of eight semi-final teams and selected a Grand Prize winner and two Runner-Up teams. The Challenge submissions were scored based on Originality of their idea; Use and Application of S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) skills; Feasibility and Potential Impact. The three winning teams and their ideas are as follows:

  • GRAND PRIZE: Stauffer Middle Schools students Oliver Palafox, Aaron Sauceda, Christopher Almaguer, and Ezekiel Leyva (pictured at the top of this page) envisioned a way to have people stop smoking through a wearable device that detects carbon monoxide levels through the skin. When certain levels are reached, family members are electronically notified so they can reach out and help the smoker quit. Watch the Smokebusters team video
  • RUNNER-UP: Sussman Middle School students Angela Lopez, Adam Yanes, Luis Arizmendi, Erick Martinez, and Joaquin Macias imagined a series of flying suction drones that removes harmful gases from the air when dangerous levels are detected to help those who are affected by chronic lung issues. Watch the Crisis! in the Classroom team video
  • RUNNER-UP: Griffiths Middle School students Mayalyn Guadarrama, Abigail Dagundon, and Natalia Penarrieta (pictured inset) developed a medical emergency safety and precaution wearable wristband that warns people with previous heart or heath issues that they are experiencing high blood pressure. Watch the Pentamate team video

“We are thrilled to celebrate the three top winning teams and are beyond proud of all the extraordinary young people within Downey Unified that competed,” said Phil Davis, Director, STEM Programs. “This was a difficult Challenge and many of students stepped up with remarkable solutions to solve real-world problems. Programs like this help unleash the creative minds of our young innovators and engage them in important STEAM disciplines.”

Staci Lyons, President and Chief Strategy Officer, Dare 2B Digital, added:

“We are honored to work with Downey Unified on this amazing Challenge and see all the incredible solutions. As a society, we are facing complicated problems, yet we see more innovative breakthroughs coming from young people than ever before. STEAM programs that inspire critical thinking around solutions and impact are vital for developing innovations of the future. We have much to learn from these inspiring young innovators as we continue to provide programs that support their leadership development.”

In early 2017, the Grand Prize winner will go on a once-in-a lifetime trip to San Francisco and tour some of the most innovative companies in the nearby Silicon Valley in addition to seeing the popular sites of the city. All the three winning teams will receive a tour of some of the most innovative companies in the Los Angeles area as well as a KitHub STEM Creative Center.

For more information, please visit: http://www.dare2bdigitalconference.com/innovation-challenge/.

About Dare 2B Digital

Recognized by the California State Legislature as a premier kids’ interactive learning program for exploring careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (S.T.E.A.M.), Dare 2B Digital (www.dare2bdigital.org @dare2bdigital) inspires young innovators through interactive, hands-on learning experiences. Dare 2B Digital is a program of the Invent Your Future Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization presented by Invent Your Future Enterprises (www.inventyourfuture.com @IYFNews).