By Sue Moore
Alayna Meade, Heidi Sheen and Jaden Jager, all Schoolcraft ninth graders in Donya Dobbin’s freshmen engineering class, are among 300 finalists in Samsung’s “Solve for Tomorrow” contest. Their project was chosen as part of an effort by Samsung to encourage students across the nation to solve real-world issues in their community using classroom skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The classroom was divided into teams and asked to choose one everyday community problem, Dobbin said. This team choose mosquito-borne eastern equine encephalitis, triple E, which was a huge concern for residents of Schoolcraft in the fall of 2019. They came up with an innovative idea to make an insect repellent out of deodorant, lotion, perfume and a little mosquito repellent as their concoction to ward off the mosquito bites that cause EEE. They would then spray it on their bodies to prevent mosquitos from coming near.
The students submitted a paper to the Samsung judges and it was selected as a finalist. As their teacher, Dobbins had to write a lesson plan outlining how students will tackle the local issue using STEM skills to ultimately improve the greater community.
Four other schools’ students beside Schoolcraft were also selected as state finalists: Comstock STEM Academy, Troy High School, Holt Senior High School and Washtenaw International Middle Academy, Ypsilanti.