LEE CO., GA (WALB) - Four South Georgia middle school students are being recognized nationally for developing a life-saving device.
Christian Dozier, Ian Harding, Megan Hendley, and Braylea Phillips from Lee County Middle School West created a device that notifies authorities when a farming tractor rolls over to ensure a timely emergency response to help the farmer in need.
The project has earned them a place as one of 10 national finalists in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest and $50,000 in technology for their school.
The Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest is a program that encourages teachers and students to solve real-world issues in their community using classroom skills in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM).
"These four students picked the idea of being able to work with some type of device or some way of helping people who didn't have a rollover protection system be safe," said Brian Soash, a science teacher at Lee County Middle School West.
The project started in the classroom in September of this school year, where students began to create a device that would detect when a tractor is about to tip over.
"When it reaches an angle of risk of rollover, the LED light will light up yellow warning the driver," said Ian Harding, a student at Lee County Middle School West.
The device, which can attach to all models of tractors, is programmed to send an SOS signal and share GPS coordinates when a tractor rolls to 90 degrees.
Soash said he assigned the students to this project simply because of the number of rollover injuries that have happened on farms recently.
He said over half of all tractors in the country do not have rollover protection systems.
The next step for the students: travel to New York City and present their project idea and share how it will benefit the local community and beyond before a panel of judges.
The students also have the chance of becoming this year's Community Choice Award winner, but they need your help. All you have to do is view the project video and cast a vote online here. Public voting closes at 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, April 2, 2018.
By becoming a top 10 finalist, Lee County Middle School West will receive $50,000 in school technology. If the team goes on to be one of three national winners, their school will get a $150,000 technology grant. The Community Choice Award winner will receive an additional $15,000 in technology for their school.