Dover students reach national competition finals after building device that monitors athletes' temperature

Patrick Cseh isn't gearing up to play football – but to help save lives. 

"We've had a few peers in our community who has suffered illnesses and even death and this project is really important to prevent that from happening anymore," he explained. 

Patrick and his classmates at Strawberry Crest High School in Dover built a device that uses sensors to monitor the temperature of athletes during competition. The information is sent to an app. 

"We're just hoping that this device can lower the amount of time that it takes for a coach to realize that a player needs to come out and cool down," said Christina Rutledge, a biology teacher at Strawberry Crest High School's IB program. 

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The class entered Samsung’s "Solve for Tomorrow STEM Competition." The contest challenges public school students in grades 6-12 to use science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills to create positive change in their communities. 

"The biggest difference between tragedy and miracles is the time in which it takes for someone to realize that there is a problem," Rutledge said. 

Students in Rutledge's class spent months working on the project. 

"We're interested in science and the medical fields specifically, and we're also athletes," said Anna Steed, a student. "So, she thought this project would be really helpful for us to be a part of."

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Their project won the state competition, so they entered the nationals and were selected as one of the top ten finalists. 

"Every time I think that they can't do something more cool or better than they've done before – they do it," said Rutledge. 

The finalists were selected based on their videos. 

"We won a $50,000 dollars technology package for the classroom and everyone is really excited about that. What's even more exciting is that we are bringing awareness to a real issue in our community," said Rutledge. 

They're now headed to Washington D. C. to make a pitch.

 "I'm really excited to go to D. C. and present this idea to judges, and hopefully, they will see how important it is to us," said Patrick. "How important an idea that it is and that we really want to solve this."

There is also a One Community Choice Winner from among the pool of ten finalists, who will win an additional $10,000 prize package. The school that gets the most online votes wins.  

You can vote for the Strawberry Crest's project here: You have until May 15 to cast your vote.  

The students will be heading to Washington DC next week to pitch their project to a panel of judges.